Six Charged in Sales of Cocaine, Heroin and Anabolic Steroids: Auxiliary Police Officer Arrested in Sale of Firearm

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Six Charged in Sales of Cocaine, Heroin and Anabolic Steroids:
Auxiliary Police Officer Arrested in Sale of Firearm

Bridget G. Brennan, New York City’s Special Narcotics Prosecutor, New York City Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill and Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark announced today the arrest and indictment of six defendants in connection with sales of cocaine, heroin, anabolic steroids and a firearm in the Bronx. An auxiliary police officer is among those charged with firearm sales.

An indictment filed by the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor is the result of a yearlong wiretap investigation by the New York City Police Department’s (NYPD) Criminal Enterprise Investigation Unit and Vice Squad. The Bronx District Attorney’s Office reviewed and submitted multiple wiretap applications for court authorization.

Early this morning, members of the NYPD arrested the six defendants at their homes in the Bronx and Manhattan on a total of 51 counts, including Conspiracy, Criminal Sale and Possession of a Controlled Substance, Criminal Possession of a Weapon and Criminal Sale and Possession of a Firearm. Arraignments are scheduled for this afternoon before Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Felicia Mennin, Part 22, 111 Centre Street, 9th floor.

Since October of 2016, the defendants allegedly made 19 sales of cocaine, heroin and anabolic steroids to an undercover police officer for approximately $30,000. An additional two kilograms of cocaine (4 ½ pounds) worth up to $60,000 and a quantity of steroids were recovered in court authorized searches today.

At the outset of the investigation, the undercover officer purchased anabolic steroids from defendant JIMMY LIU. LIU later sold cocaine, heroin and the anti-anxiety medication alprazolam (commonly known by the brand name Xanax) to the undercover. Through the wiretap, police learned LIU received his supply of cocaine from defendants JERRY JAGERNAUTH and JOSE RODRIGUEZ. RODRIGUEZ, a body builder, allegedly purchased steroids from LIU, in addition to selling him cocaine. Meanwhile, defendant VINCENT GUTTILLA allegedly supplied LIU with heroin. During the course of the investigation, RODRIGUEZ and GUTTILLA also sold narcotics directly to the undercover.

On July 24, the wiretap investigation intercepted text messages between RODRIGUEZ and RAMON ESPINAL, an auxiliary police officer in the NYPD’s 23rd Precinct in East Harlem, allegedly setting up a gun sale. In a message to RODRIGUEZ, ESPINAL stated, “Have Smith and Wesson it is good quality.” A subsequent message contained a photo of a Smith & Wesson 9mm firearm with a discernable serial number. The pair agreed to meet that day at RODRIGUEZ’s residence, located at 2895 Coddington Avenue in the Schuylerville neighborhood of the Bronx.

Approximately three weeks later, RODRIGUEZ allegedly sold this firearm to the undercover officer. On August 19, 2017, RODRIGUEZ instructed the undercover to meet him outside a gym at 1624 Bronxdale Avenue, East Bronx. As the undercover looked on, RODRIGUEZ placed a FaceTime call to his girlfriend TANIA MARTINEZ and instructed her to retrieve the gun from their bedroom and bring it to the gym. MARTINEZ arrived by car and handed RODRIGUEZ a plastic bag containing a firearm, which RODRIGUEZ passed to the undercover in exchange for $500. The gun in the bag was identical to the firearm in the photo that ESPINAL previously sent to RODRIGUEZ and bore the same serial number.

A court authorized search of RODRIGUEZ’s home today resulted in the seizure of approximately $11,000 cash and a quantity of steroids. Inside his garage, police found the two kilograms of cocaine, along with drug paraphernalia and a kilogram press. Police recovered another 40 to 50 grams of cocaine in a court authorized search of LIU’s home, located at 3125 Tibbett Avenue, Apt. 1F, in the Kingsbridge neighborhood of the Bronx.

Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan thanked her office’s Trial and Investigations Divisions, Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark and the New York City Police Department’s (NYPD) Criminal Enterprise Investigation Unit and Vice Squad.

The charges and allegations are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s Office
Kati Cornell
(212) 815-0525

New York City Police Department
Stephen Davis
(646) 610-6700