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Port Byron man among 31 charged in major drug ring rampant in Central New York

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  • Staff Report 

Attorney General Letitia James, alongside Syracuse Police, announced the indictment of 31 individuals charged with 192 criminal counts in the disruption of two large-scale narcotics rings in Central New York.

The year-long operation, named “Operation Blockbuster,” resulted in the seizure of over 150,000 packages of fentanyl and significant quantities of heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine. Law enforcement also confiscated firearms, cash, and vehicles linked to the drug distribution networks across five counties.

The crackdown is a significant stride in combatting the opioid epidemic ravaging the state. “Opioids like fentanyl have torn apart communities, and it’s our continued mission to combat their spread,” AG James remarked. The investigation, involving a coalition of state, local, and federal agencies, employed extensive surveillance and multiple search warrants to unearth the narcotics pipeline.

The first indictment targeted the “Castro Group,” implicating 23 individuals with 150 counts for distributing drugs, including fentanyl and heroin, across several counties. The group leader, Bayron Castro, potentially faces a life sentence. The second indictment focused on the “Pettiford Group,” charging eight with 42 counts. This investigation revealed connections to violent crimes, including a shooting incident resulting in additional weapons and assault charges against group member Henry Townsend.

Here are the individuals charged:

  • Deion Bradley, 26 years old, Syracuse, NY
  • Bayron Castro, a/k/a “Hov”, 41 years old, Syracuse, NY
  • Jose Cosme, 54 years old, Syracuse, NY
  • Jean Carlos Cruz, 34 years old, Syracuse, NY
  • Miguel Cruz, a/k/a “G”, 36 years old, Liverpool, NY
  • Lamell Davis, a/k/a “Melly,” or “O’Melly,” a/k/a “Felix”, 29 years old, Syracuse, NY
  • Johnathan Delgado, a/k/a “Green Eyes”, 37 years old, Syracuse, NY
  • Malik Evans, a/k/a “Leek”, 35 years old, Syracuse, NY
  • Chad Firenze, 34 years old, Granby, NY
  • Terrah Frederick, 35 years old, Adams Center, NY
  • Jaidyn Freeman, a/k/a “Jaido”, 21 years old, Syracuse, NY
  • Shawn Gifford, a/k/a “Nani”, 36 years old, Syracuse, NY
  • Michael Hudgins, 36 years old, Syracuse, NY
  • Xavier Jackson, 29 years old, Syracuse, NY
  • Brycedon James, a/k/a “Doodak”, 24 years old, Syracuse, NY
  • Emmanuel Jenkins, a/k/a “Lean”, 32 years old, Syracuse, NY
  • Kwamea Jenkins, 23 years old, Syracuse, NY
  • Luis Miguel Joaquin, 35 years old, Bronx, NY
  • David Kalet, 36 years old, Port Byron, NY
  • James Kelley, 35 years old, Liverpool, NY
  • Christopher Lanzafame, 33 years old, Baldwinsville, NY
  • Docciana Mack, 34 years old, Syracuse, NY
  • Devine Mobley, 21 years old, Syracuse, NY
  • James Odom, 31 years old, Syracuse, NY
  • Edward Pettiford, a/k/a “Buster”, 30 years old, Syracuse, NY
  • Keenan Scott, a/k/a “Kasey”, 26 years old, Syracuse, NY
  • Jamar Sheppard, a/k/a “Ski”, 27 years old, Syracuse, NY
  • Carlos Torres, 30 years old, Syracuse, NY
  • Henry Townsend, a/k/a “Rock,” a/k/a “Henrock”, 28 years old, Syracuse, NY
  • Jeffrey Walts, 40 years old, Central Square, NY
  • Tevon Webb, a/k/a “Tay”, 28 years old, Syracuse, NY

These operations are part of the Attorney General’s S.U.R.G.E. Initiative to target drug trafficking networks. Since its inception in 2017, SURGE has led to the arrest of over 900 alleged traffickers. The collective efforts signify an ongoing commitment to halting the flow of illicit drugs and the associated violence within New York communities. The accused individuals are currently facing only charges and maintain the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.