A.G. Schneiderman Announces 15-Year Prison Sentence For Leader Of Large-Scale Drug Trafficking Ring
Juan Ramos Sentenced To 15 Years In Prison For Shipping Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars Of Narcotics From NYC To Capital Region And Beyond
Schneiderman: We Will Aggressively Prosecute Criminals Who Fuel The Cycle Of Addiction
Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman recently announced that Juan Ramos, of Brooklyn, was sentenced in Albany County Court to 15 years in state prison, followed by five years of post-release supervision, based upon his prior plea to Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree, a class A-I felony. Ramos was the leader of a large-scale narcotics trafficking ring that moved hundreds of thousands of dollars of heroin, cocaine and illegal prescription medication from the Bronx and Brooklyn, to the Capital Region and beyond, taken down in the Attorney General's Operation Uptown Red Alert. The defendant was sentenced today by Supreme Court Justice Thomas A. Breslin.
The sentences follow the launch of Attorney General Schneiderman’s Suburban and Upstate Response to the Growing Epidemic (“S.U.R.G.E.”) Initiative, a crackdown on New York’s growing heroin, opioid, and narcotics trafficking networks. The S.U.R.G.E. Initiative targets gangs and individuals who deal heroin and opioids and commit acts of violence in suburban and upstate communities across New York State. The Attorney General's Organized Crime Task Force has collaborated with all levels of law enforcement to arrest more than 1010 individuals in metro areas across the state since 2010, working closely with federal, state, and local law enforcement to investigate, arrest, and prosecute those criminals who target suburban and upstate areas.
In the past four months, Attorney General Schneiderman’s Operation Bricktown, Operation Un-Wise, Operation Gravy Train, Operation Bloodsport, Operation Pipeline and Operation Wrecking Ball have resulted in 240 traffickers and dealers being taken off the streets throughout New York State.
“We have no tolerance for dangerous drug trafficking rings like the one Juan Ramos was running,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “As New York grapples with this devastating opioid crisis, my office will continue to aggressively prosecute those criminals who fuel the cycle of addiction.”
Juan Ramos was the leader of a drug trafficking ring that trafficked hundreds of thousands of dollars of heroin, cocaine and illegal prescription medication from New York City to the Capital Region, and also to the States of Maine and Pennsylvania. During the underlying investigation, more than two pounds of bulk heroin were seized, capable of being packaged into 50,000 bags of heroin to be sold on the street, giving the heroin an approximate street value of $500,000. Also seized during the investigation was more than a pound of bulk cocaine with an approximate street value of $50,000, a homemade heroin kilogram press, 1,067 Oxycodone pills, over $21,000 in cash, two shotguns and one handgun. During the investigation, Ramos utilized his $120,000 BMW to deliver narcotics to customers.
The investigation, conducted by the Attorney General’s Organized Crime Task Force, the City of Albany Police Department and the New York State Police, led to the indictment of 27 people, all of whom have now pled guilty with the exception of two defendants that still have active warrants for their arrests. The charges against those defendants are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
In addition to prosecuting major drug trafficking rings, the Attorney General has taken numerous steps to combat the opioid crisis in New York. In June of 2011, Attorney General Schneiderman introduced state legislation for I-STOP, an online Prescription Monitoring Program or a “PMP,” that enables doctors and pharmacists to report and track controlled narcotics in real time. The OAG has also aggressively enforced laws that require parity in health plan coverage of mental health and addiction treatment, reaching agreements with six companies. Attorney General Schneiderman also announced national agreements with Cigna and Anthem, who both agreed to remove prior authorization requirements for medication-assisted treatment nationwide. The office has also reached agreements with Purdue Pharma and Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc., to ensure that these opioid makers engage in responsible and legal marketing.
This case is being prosecuted by OCTF Assistant Deputy Attorney General Michael Sharpe. Deputy Attorney General Peri Alyse Kadanoff runs the Attorney General’s Organized Crime Task Force.