AG indicts 25 in drug trafficking ring that sold heroin, fentanyl and cocaine in Capital Region

Attorney General Letitia James on Wednesday announced a takedown of a major drug trafficking ring that was selling heroin, cocaine and fentanyl throughout the Capital Region.  

A total of 25 individuals were indicted in connection with the operation, which was based in Rensselaer County.

One of the major players, Efrain Acevado, opened a restaurant called “El Coqui” in Troy, where he allegedly sold narcotics to customers from the restaurant and used it as a location to stash drugs.

Alexander Torres and Yamillet Galarza were central figures in the operation, James said in a news release. Torres had four different cocaine suppliers. He then allegedly sold the drugs to a network of customers throughout the Capital Region.

Torres, attempted to import a kilogram of cocaine from a supplier in Puerto Rico by mailing the cocaine to his residence in Troy stashed inside of an encyclopedia, prosecutors said. He also purchased heroin laced with fentanyl from a Bronx dealer in custom-designed bags stamped with the phrase “American Gangster” to distinguish his narcotics from other dealers. He has been charged as a major trafficker, which carries a mandatory life sentence in prison.

“These individuals trafficked a deadly combination of heroin and fentanyl that has claimed lives and poisoned communities across our state,” said Attorney General James in a statement. “This investigation is part of my office’s ongoing work to keep New Yorkers safe and combat the scourge of drug-related addictions and overdoses. We will continue to pursue drug traffickers who endanger lives and threaten public safety, and I thank our partners in law enforcement for their support and collaboration in this operation.”

The year-long investigation brought together local law enforcement agencies including the Attorney General’s Organized Crime Task Force, New York State Police, Troy Police Department, Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Office, Schenectady Police Department and the Schenectady County Sheriff’s Office.      

Acting New York State Police Superintendent Dominick Chiumento praised the law enforcement partnership.

“This case also shows the scale of drugs, weapons, and money that travel through our suburban and upstate communities. We have shown by this collaborative effort that law enforcement will rise to the challenge and protect our communities from these ruthless criminals and the destructive drugs that are infiltrating our neighborhoods,” he said in a statement.

The indictment includes 164 counts charging the suspects with various crimes related to their involvement in the operation including criminal sale and criminal possession of a controlled substance and conspiracy.  

Indicted in the operation were:

  • Efrain Acevedo, 33, Troy
  • Raul Baez, 36, Schenectady
  • Erick Baez, 35, of Schenectady
  • Jose Cintron, 37, Troy,
  • Elvis Colon, 45, Troy,
  • Javier Colon, 51, Philadelphia,
  • Mercedes Danahy, 38, Troy
  • James Foley, 43, Troy
  • Jack Frazier, 37, Troy
  • Jose Galarza, 49, Troy
  • Yamillet Galarza, 35 Troy
  • Vladimir Guzman Grullon, 31, Bronx
  • David Harden, 62, Troy
  • Mark House, 55, Troy
  • Karim Little, 32, Troy,
  • Jordan McCullen, 32, Troy
  • Jahtiek Milisci 25, Troy,
  • Beau Moreau, 36, Schenectady
  • Michael Nelson, 37, Troy
  • Tracy Taylor, 52 Troy
  • Denzel Timot, 24, Troy
  • Alexander Torres, 36, Troy
  • Israel Vasquez, 37, Troy
  • Abner Velasquez, 42, Holyoke, Mass
  • David Venson, 56, Troy