DEFENDANT IN MAJOR EAST HARLEM NARCOTICS TRAFFICKING ORGANIZATION SENTENCED TO 22 ½ YEARS IN PRISON

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the sentencing of PAUL HEWETT, 52, a member of a major narcotics trafficking organization operating out of East Harlem, to 22 ½ years in prison and 5 years post-release supervision. On April 2, 2012, HEWETT pleaded guilty to one count of Conspiracy in the Second Degree, one count of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree, and two counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree.

“For more than two decades, the East Harlem community suffered the consequences of this organization’s criminal activities,” said District Attorney Vance. “Our case dismantled the entire narcotics trafficking network - from the kingpin down to the street supplier. Working with our partners in law enforcement, my Office will continue to make sure that drug traffickers are taken off our City’s streets.”

According to documents filed in court and statements made on the record in court, HEWETT obtained, divided, and resold large quantities of cocaine with his co-conspirators, hiding some of the organization’s cocaine and loaded firearms in his apartment and in a storage facility that he rented on West 29th Street. Search warrants at each of those locations led to the recovery of a total of over 500 grams of cocaine, two pounds of marijuana, and three loaded firearms, including a SWD M-11 semiautomatic assault weapon.

With HEWETT’s guilty plea, the District Attorney’s Office successfully obtained guilty pleas from all 25 defendants in its case against one of New York City’s major street narcotics distribution networks.

The successful criminal prosecution of this trafficking organization is the result of a 15-month joint undercover investigation by the District Attorney’s Violent Criminal Enterprises Unit and the New York City Police Department’s Narcotics Division Manhattan North. As stated in court, authorities estimate that this drug organization was responsible for approximately $1.75 million worth of cocaine sales each year in Manhattan. The top defendant in the case, CEFERINO PEREZ, a/k/a “Papo,” 45, one of the principal dealers of powder cocaine in New York City, pleaded guilty on February 9, 2012 to Operating As a Major Trafficker, also known as the “Drug Kingpin” statute, and Conspiracy in the Second Degree. PEREZ was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison.

Assistant District Attorney Christopher Prevost of the District Attorney’s Office’s Violent Criminal Enterprises Unit handled the prosecution of the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Christopher Ryan, Chief of the Violent Criminal Enterprises Unit, and Executive Assistant District Attorney Karen Friedman-Agnifilo, Chief of the Trial Division. Investigative Analysts Charles Bennett and James LaRusso also assisted with the investigation.

District Attorney Vance thanked the NYPD, particularly members of Manhattan North Narcotics: Inspector Lori Pollock, Deputy Inspector James Klein, Captain Gregg Hough, Lieutenant James Curry, Sergeant Mark MacDonnell, Detective Jeffrey Carroll, Detective Brian Fleming, and the undercover detectives.

Defendant Information:

PAUL HEWETT, D.O.B. 4/5/60
Bronx, NY

Convicted:

Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree, a class A-I felony, 1 count
Conspiracy in the Second Degree, a class B felony, 1 count
Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 2 counts

Sentenced:

22 ½ years in state prison
5 years post-release supervision

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