Operation Central City: 65 facing charges in CNY multi-county drug bust

Fentanyl, heroin and cocaine were allegedly brought to Oneida County and four other counties by two drug rings.

Posted: Apr 25, 2019 3:57 PM
Updated: Apr 26, 2019 12:13 AM

Dozens are facing charges Thursday after a multi-county drug bust spanning Central New York.

Operation Central City – the name of a 15-month drug trafficking investigation led by New York State Attorney General Letitia James’ Office. And the outcome of the bust? A total of 65 people indicted, and thousands of bags of drugs seized.

Fentanyl, heroin and cocaine were allegedly brought to Oneida County and four other counties by two drug rings.

The state attorney general says law enforcement used surveillance and wiretaps.

"These two drug rings were allegedly responsible for trafficking significant amounts of illicit drugs across Central and Upstate New York," said Attorney General Letitia James in a statement. "In order to combat the opioid epidemic that is claiming far too many lives, we will continue to go after those responsible for pumping these dangerous drugs into our communities. Let this serve as a loud and clear message: drug trafficking will not be tolerated in New York State."

The 4,700 bags of heroin and fentanyl have a street value of $140,000. And two kilos of cocaine have a street value of more than $200,000.

Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol says these two major drug busts are a start to combatting the opioid epidemic in our area, but there is still a lot of work that needs to be done.

"It is clear of the commitment from the AG's office right on down to the local agencies," Maciol said. "We are committed to taking these people off the street, we will do out what we have to do to get these cases closed successfully and like I said hats off to the men and women who are part of this investigation, the one who were on the front line from the surveillance and the wire tapping over the past several months right up to the folks who executed the warrants this morning."

The counties involved were: Onondaga County, St. Lawrence County, Oswego County, Oneida County, and Jefferson County.

The first indictment names 33 people accused of selling narcotics in Onondaga, St. Lawrence, and Jefferson counties. The AG’s office says Shondell Days of Syracuse provided narcotics to Hillary Gilson, Salean Simmons and numerous other St. Lawrence County drug dealers. Simmons also had several other narcotics sources besides Days, including Carlos Arroyo of Watertown, New York, and Robert Vega, Corey Tisdale, Felix Cirino, and Chyna Simon-Hess, all of Jersey City, New Jersey.

In the second indictment, 34 people were named – two of whom also appear on the first indictment as well. The indictment alleges that Abdullah Quaid, Adam Durham, and Louis Mike led a Syracuse-based narcotics distribution network that sold cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl to drug resellers in Onondaga, St. Lawrence, Jefferson, Oswego, and Oneida counties.

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