Thirty people have been arrested for trafficking cocaine, heroin and illegal prescription drugs across the Capital Region, according to a 205-count indictment which was unsealed in Saratoga County Court on Tuesday.
Most of the suspects were arrested early Tuesday during a multi-agency investigation into alleged cocaine and methamphetamine trafficking in the region coming from suppliers in Albany, according to the state Attorney General’s Office.
Police said the drugs were trafficked in Warren and Saratoga counties and became part of a 13-month undercover investigation dubbed “Operation Off Broadway.”
Police agencies involved included the Attorney General Organized Crime Task Force, in partnership with the Schenectady, Warren and Saratoga counties sheriff’s offices, and Albany and Glens Falls police departments.
Local police said they could not comment on the case, and referred comment to the Attorney General’s Office.
“As we allege, this trafficking ring flooded the Capital Region with cocaine and other drugs — fueling the addiction cycle that has ravaged communities across our state,” said Attorney General Barbara Underwood. “We will continue to work with our partners in law enforcement to cut off the flow of opioids and other drugs into our communities and drive traffickers like these out of business, part of our multi-levered approach to tackling New York’s evolving epidemic.”
According to the indictment dated Oct. 15, two Albany-based cocaine traffickers, Tremel “Skinny” Rosario, 36, and Matthew “J” Malu, 30, set up a distribution operation in Saratoga and Warren counties and across the Capital Region.
Rosario and Malu’s phones were wiretapped and the day-to-day operations were captured, which included “workers” peddling drugs and hiring others as drug “mules” to replenish product for workers.
The 85-page indictment detailed 50 “overt acts” via wiretaps using cryptic language such as “ball,” “bizzy” and “a buck” as well as “soft-serve” and “hard ice cream” referencing powder and crack cocaine. A number of the defendants were charged based on phone conversations about attempted drug purchases.
According to the indictment, three residences were targeted in the investigation and were allegedly used to sell drugs out of, which included 9 Harrison Ave., South Glens Falls; 14 Madison St., Apt. 3, Glens Falls; and 17 Windsong Drive, Queensbury.
The 205-count indictment includes charges of criminal sale and possession of a controlled substance and conspiracy, all felonies. Other charges included third degree attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance, a felony, and criminal use of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor. Twenty-three of those arrested are located in the greater Glens Falls area.
Those arrested are as follows:
- Robert Allen, 49, Queensbury
- Jessica Baker, 37, South Glens Falls
- Tara Brown, 45, Queensbury
- Colleen Connolly, aka Colleen Syman, 45, Lake Luzerne
- Angela Cox, 41, Schenectady
- Rashaun Creel, aka “Broadway,” 36, Schenectady
- James Duprey, 52, Queensbury
- Shane Frasier, 44, Glens Falls
- Vanessa French, 49, Glens Falls
- Vanessa Graham, 36, Gansevoort
- Melvina L. Grovenburg, aka “Mel,” 49, Glens Falls
- Steven Lathrop, 35, Hudson Falls
- Donald Layman, 72, Glens Falls
- Edward Lee, aka “Eddie,” 45, Glens Falls
- Matthew Malu, aka “J,” a/k/a “Capo,” 30, Albany
- Jamel Miller, 38, Schenectady
- Elizabeth Monahan, aka “Beth,” 24, Hudson Falls
- Jessica Nichols, 37, Fort Edward
- Patrick O’Keefe, 42, Queensbury
- Renee Passino, 31, South Glens Falls
- Jamel Pearson, aka “James,” 21, Albany
- Brenda Perry, 49, Glens Falls
- Hardley Pierre, 29, Schenectady
- Tara Reid, 35, Queensbury
- Tremel Rosario, a/k/a “Skinny,” 36, Albany
- Laura Russo, 50, Schenectady
- Mana Sambola, aka Mana Sambole, aka “Mike,” 36, South Glens Falls
- Kimberly Schwartfigure, 42, Glens Falls
- Mark Tai, aka “Juan,” 31, Schenectady
- Nicholas E. Torchetti, 47, Queensbury
The defendants were all expected to be arraigned Tuesday and Wednesday in Saratoga County Court. The crimes allegedly occurred in Albany, Schenectady, Saratoga and Warren counties, but can all be prosecuted in any one county where part of the drug “conspiracy” occurred.