Operation Seaway’ Leads to Seizure of Cocaine and Marijuana valued in Excess of $515,000 and $200,000 Cash

WATERTOWN, NY (October 29, 2009) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that narcotics trafficking charges have been filed in St. Lawrence County against 18 individuals who are alleged to be leading figures in two drug distribution networks that were selling large amounts of cocaine and marijuana in and near St. Lawrence County.

During ‘Operation Seaway,’ law enforcement seized more than 250 pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value in excess of $500,000, almost three-quarters of a pound of cocaine worth approximately $17,000, and more than $200,000 in cash.

“Illicit drugs and the crimes that accompany the narcotics trade can impact any community, large or small, anywhere in the state” said Attorney General Cuomo. “By working together with our law enforcement partners, we were able to remove hundreds of thousands of dollars of illegal drugs off the streets of St. Lawrence County and surrounding communities.”

The first indictment charges 15 individuals with Conspiracy (class E felony), Criminal Sale of Marijuana, and Criminal Possession of Marijuana (class C felonies), for allegedly participating in a marijuana distribution network centered in Waddington in St. Lawrence County. Members of this network allegedly received marijuana smuggled from Canada across the Akwesasne Mohawk reservation, and into St. Lawrence County. From there, members of the network allegedly sold marijuana to individuals in Jefferson County, and the Albany, New York area, who in turn would distribute it to others. The class C felony marijuana charges carry a maximum of 5 ½ years imprisonment and the conspiracy charge carries a maximum of 1 1/3 to 4 years imprisonment.

The second indictment charges 3 individuals with various Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance charges (class AI, B, or C, felony) and Conspiracy (class B felony) for allegedly participating in a cocaine distribution network centered in and near the City of Potsdam. Members of this conspiracy allegedly received cocaine from sources in Utica, which they in turn sold to cocaine re-sellers in Potsdam and elsewhere in St. Lawrence County. The controlled substance charges carry maximum sentences of 5 1/2, 9, or 24 years imprisonment and the conspiracy charge carries a maximum of 8 1/3 to 25 years imprisonment.

As part of the same investigation, five members of an alleged cocaine distribution network operating in Watertown were arrested last month and charged in Jefferson County with narcotics trafficking and related charges. Approximately three quarters of a pound of cocaine and $10,000 were seized in that portion of the investigation. Those charges remain pending.

Since its inception in 2007, the Attorney General’s Upstate Guns, Gangs, and Drugs Initiative has conducted a variety of operations in cooperation with local, state, and federal authorities, resulting in charges against more than 320 defendants and the seizures of well over $3 million in drugs and cash, as well as dozens of guns.

Those charged in the first St. Lawrence County indictment are:

* Raun Mitchell, 27, of Cole Road, Hogansburgh; and McDonald Road, Akwesasne
* Margaret Ann Jacbos, 42, of Toby Roundpoint Road, Akwesasne, Quebec
* Matthew Dillon, 28, of Toby Roundpoint Road, Akwesasne, Quebec; and Douglas Road, Massena
* Mitchell David, 18, of River Road, Akwesasne, Quebec; and Cook Road, Akwesasne, NY
* Scott Jerome, 33, of Irish Settlement Road, Waddington
* Jason Ashley, 29, of State Route 26, Great Bend; and County Route 47, Great Bend
* Donna Jarvis, 47, of Douglas Road, Massena
* Ashley Alguire, 24, of Irish Settlement Road, Waddington
* Wesley Walters, 28, of Renshaw Bay Road, Mannsville; and State Route 3, Black River
* Robert Brigham, 25, of Haney Street and Palmer Street, Watertown
* Matthew Dicaprio, 26, of West Street, Carthage
* Scott Thayer, 39, of Flower Street, Watertown
* Jeremy Kearns, 21, of Willard Drive, Massena
* Doug Monroe, 23, of Oliver Road, Grove Street, and Cecil Avenue, Massena
* Ryan Gagner, 26, of Joy Road, Norfolk, and Roosevelt Street and Willard Street, Massena

Those charged in the second St. Lawrence County indictment are:

* Raymond Whalen, 45, address unknown
* Clayton Everhart, 29, of Maple Street, Norfolk, and Reagan Road, Winthrop
* Stacy Narrow, 26, of Maple Ridge Road, Brasher Falls, and Russell Turnpike, Potsdam

The investigation was conducted by Attorney General Cuomo’s Organized Crime Task Force (OCTF) and is part of ongoing efforts to combat narcotics trafficking and other crimes through his Upstate Guns, Gangs, and Drugs Initiative. Numerous other agencies assisted in the investigation including: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the New York State Police, the St. Lawrence County Drug Task Force, the St. Lawrence County Sheriff's Department, St. Lawrence County District Attorney's Office, Franklin County Drug Task Force, Potsdam Police Department, Ogdensburg Police Department, Jefferson County Sheriff's Department, Jefferson County District Attorney's Office, Metro-Jefferson Drug Task Force, Watertown Police Department, Massena Police Department, Customs Border Protection, Border Patrol, Canton Police Department, Oswego City Police Department, Cayuga County Sheriff's Department, and Ontario (Canada) Provincial Police Department. Attorney General Cuomo thanked and commended these agencies.

The cases are being prosecuted by OCTF Assistant Deputy Attorney General and Senior Investigative Counsel James Mindell under the supervision of Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice Robin L. Baker, and OCTF First Assistant Deputy Attorney General Peri Alyse Kadanoff.

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