Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office is prosecuting the 24 individuals who participated in two separate cocaine distribution networks centered in and around the Buffalo area. During the course of this investigation, several kilograms of cocaine, and approximately $58,500 in cash were seized.
"Operation Babcock has led to the arrests of dozens of individuals who infiltrated the streets of Western New York with large quantities of illegal drugs," said Schneiderman. "With our partners in law enforcement, we will continue to crackdown on these drug networks to rid our neighborhoods from the infestation of these dangerous narcotics. I want to thank the New York State Police and the rest of our law enforcement partners for another successful operation that will keep our streets safer."
New York State Police Superintendent, Joseph A. D'Amico said, "This investigation is yet another result of the longstanding and highly successful partnership that exists between the New York State Attorney General's Organized Crime Task Force and the New York State Police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team. Their dedication, investigative efforts, and today's arrests have removed a significant cocaine distribution operation in Western New York. We are sending a strong message that illegal drugs will not be tolerated in our communities."
The year-long undercover investigation revealed Richard Himbury, of Tonawanda NY, as one of the major suppliers in the Buffalo area.
Another defendant, Laurie Kozakowski, has been a toll collector, employed by the New York State Thruway Authority, for the past 10 years. The investigation revealed that Kozakowski bought large amounts of cocaine from suppliers in South Buffalo and brought it to Batavia where she re-sold the drugs.
Kozakowski is charged with an A1 felony which carries a penalty of eight to 20 years in prison, if convicted.
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.
Defendants (Hometown, Age):
ROB ALESSI West Seneca, NY, 29
RASHEEM ALSTON Buffalo, NY, 36
MICHAEL BANKS Buffalo, NY, 36
JESSE BONNER Buffalo, NY, 38
JOSEPH BONNER Buffalo, NY, 26
MANUEL BRACERO Buffalo, NY, 20
SCOTT BUSH Buffalo, NY, 50
JULIENE BYHAM Buffalo, NY, 29
MARK COUSINS Buffalo, NY, 21
KEVIN DEAN Buffalo, NY, 21
DANIEL DRISCOLL Buffalo, NY, 26
PATRICK DRISCOLL Buffalo, NY, 25
DANIEL FINO Lackawanna, NY, 26
WESLEY FISH Buffalo, NY, 25
GREGORY GIOIA West Seneca, NY, 22
RICHARD HIMBURY Tonawanda, NY, 40
RICHARD ISCH East Aurora, NY, 24
LAURIE KOZAKOWSKI Batavia, NY, 41
DAVID LINK Tonawanda, NY,42
JUSTIN MILLS Depew, NY, 32
SEAN RANSFORD Buffalo, NY, 22
ANTHONY "MUGGS" SARGENTE Buffalo, NY, 24
MICHAEL SYLVIA Buffalo, NY, 25
JOSEPH SANNA Buffalo, NY, 43