Broome County Grand Jury Indicts Seven People On Drug Charges

State Attorney General Spitzer, Broome County District Attorney Gerald Mollen and State Police Superintendent Wayne Bennett today announced that a Broome County Grand Jury has indicted seven individuals on felony narcotics charges for allegedly participating in a crack cocaine distribution ring in the Binghamton area.

The investigation was conducted by the Attorney General’s Organized Crime Task Force (OCTF), the New York State Police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team, the Village of Johnson City Police, the Village of Endicott Police, the Broome County Narcotics Task Force and the Broome County District Attorney’s Office.

The investigation began in December 2004 and culminated in the execution of ten search warrants on June 17, 2005 during which officers seized over 100 grams of cocaine with a street value in excess of $20,000. Authorities seized several vehicles and a quantity of drug-packaging materials. The investigation focused on Dimas Vargas, 28, of Endicott, the alleged ring-leader of the drug organization.

On September 16, the Grand Jury handed up a 52-count indictment charging Vargas with 14 counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree and 13 counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, class "B" felonies; three counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fourth Degree, a class"C" felony; Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class "E" felony; and Endangering the Welfare of a Child, a class "A" misdemeanor. If convicted of the most serious charges, Vargas faces a sentence of up to 12 years in state prison.

Also charged in the indictment with various counts of sale of crack cocaine, possession of crack cocaine with the intent to sell and conspiracy to possess and sell crack cocaine are: Tiffany Ward-Vargas, 23; Yolanda Matthews, 29; Yodit Whyte, 22, all of Endicott; and Anthony Clark, 36, of Manhattan. On September 20, Broome County Court Judge Martin E. Smith issued arrest warrants for two additional defendants.

If convicted of the most serious charges, defendants Ward-Vargas and Whyte face a sentence of up to nine years in state prison. Matthews and Clark face sentences of up to 12 years in prison.

All charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Deputy Attorney General Michael Sharpe under the direction of Christopher Prather, the Deputy Attorney General-In-Charge of OCTF.