A.G. Schneiderman Secures Guilty Pleas & Prison Time In "Operation Babcock" Cocaine Bust

Western NY Investigation Part Of A.G. Schneiderman’s Upstate Guns, Gangs, And Drugs Initiative

 

Schneiderman: "Operation Babcock" Has Yielded Quick Results In Putting Criminals Behind Bars

 

 

BUFFALO – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced that three individuals pled  guilty in connection with drug distribution networks in Erie, Allegany, Cattaraugus and Genesee Counties.  In addition to their guilty pleas, the individuals, who were arrested in May 2012 as part of "Operation Babcock," will be incarcerated in state prison upon sentencing.

“Operation Babcock” was a year-long investigation run by the Attorney General Schneiderman's Organized Crime Task Force and the New York State Police's Community Narcotics Enforcement Team (C-NET) unit. Babcock is the nickname of a neighborhood in South Buffalo where much of the investigation took place.

"Drug networks like these in Western New York not only physically harm the individuals involved but also devastate entire neighborhoods with increased crime," saidAttorney General Schneiderman. "Operation Babcock has yielded quick results in putting criminals behind bars, and my office will continue to go after the individuals who saturate our communities with dangerous narcotics. I want to thank our law enforcement partners for helping us to make our streets safer."

The three individuals who pleaded guilty and will be incarcerated upon their sentences include:

  • Michael Banks, 36, of Buffalo - Pleaded guilty to Attempted Conspiracy 2nd degree and is scheduled to be sentenced on October 24, 2012.
  • Manuel Bracero, 20, of Buffalo - Pleaded guilty to B Felony, Criminal Possession of Controlled Substances 3rd degree and is scheduled to be sentenced on December 14, 2012.
  • Mark Cousins, 21, of Buffalo - Pleaded guilty to C Felony Attempted Criminal Possession of Controlled Substances and is scheduled to be sentenced on October 24, 2012.

In addition to today's guilty pleas, Attorney General Schneiderman's office has already secured guilty pleas from ten other individuals for narcotic felony charges in connection with "Operation Babcock."  Those individuals participated in two separate cocaine distribution networks centered in and around the Buffalo area. During the course of the investigation, several kilograms of cocaine and approximately $58,500 in cash were seized.

The first indictment is 95 counts and charges 22 defendants with Conspiracy, as well as Criminal Sale and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance. The second indictment charges three defendants with Conspiracy, Criminal Sale and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance.

The remaining defendants include (Hometown, Age):

ROB ALESSI

West Seneca, NY, 29

RASHEEM ALSTON

Buffalo, NY, 36

JESSE BONNER

Buffalo, NY 38 (Pled)

JOSEPH BONNER

Buffalo, NY, 26

SCOTT BUSH

Buffalo, NY, 50 (Pled)

JULIENE BYHAM

Buffalo, NY, 29

MARK COUSINS

Buffalo, NY, 21 (Pled)

KEVIN DEAN

Buffalo, NY, 21 (Pled)

DANIEL DRISCOLL

Buffalo, NY, 26 (Pled)

PATRICK DRISCOLL

Buffalo, NY, 25 (Pled)

DANIEL FINO

Lackawanna, NY, 26

WESLEY FISH

Buffalo, NY, 25

GREGORY GIOIA

West Seneca, NY, 22 (Pled)

RICHARD HIMBURY

Tonawanda, NY, 40

RICHARD ISCH

East Aurora, NY, 24 (Pled)

LAURIE KOZAKOWSKI

Batavia, NY, 41

DAVID LINK

Tonawanda, NY,42 (Pled)

JUSTIN MILLS

Depew, NY, 32

SEAN RANSFORD

Buffalo, NY, 22 (Pled)

ANTHONY "MUGGS" SARGENTE

Buffalo, NY, 24

MICHAEL SYLVIA

Buffalo, NY, 25

JOSEPH SANNA

Buffalo, NY, 43 (Pled)

The indictment is the culmination of a major investigation led by Attorney General Schneiderman’s OCTF and is part of his efforts to combat large-scale narcotics trafficking and related crimes across the state.

The Attorney General thanked the Buffalo Police Department and the New York State Division of Parole for their assistance with the investigation.

The investigation was conducted by OCTF Special Investigator Thomas Vivian and Supervising Investigator Peter Talty under the supervision of Deputy Chief Eugene Black and NYSP Senior Investigator Charles Torres under the supervision of Lt . Martin McKee and Major Wayne Olson.

The case is being prosecuted in Erie County by OCTF Assistant Deputy Attorney General Kevin Kane, under the supervision of OCTF Deputy Attorney General Peri Alyse Kadanoff and Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice Nancy Hoppock.

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