JAMESTOWN-City man Roberto Figueredo’s arrest June 15th immediately provided a flash back to July 2014.
Jamestown Police and New York State Police worked in conjunction with agencies such as the DEA and the Department of Homeland Security to collar 47 individuals in “Operation Horseback”, an operation which attempted to derail a large heroin distribution network consisting of Jamestown, Buffalo, New York and Philadelphia.
Figuredo was one of the 47 figures indicted for 2nd degree Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance, 2nd degree Conspiracy (Class A and B felonies, respectively) and various counts of Criminal Sale and Possession of a Controlled Substance (Class B felonies). He was placed on interim probation for nearly two years.
The man known on the streets as “Bost” finds himself in trouble with the law again three years after his indictment.
Neftali “Pucho” Cintron, of Jamestown, and son-in-law, Luis “Papito” DeJesus, of Jamestown, allegedly traveled to Philadelphia frequently to purchase heroin for distribution within the Jamestown area. Both men also used Luis “Wiso” Lozada-Berberena, of Jamestown, as a distributor per the indictment.
Cintron was previously sentenced in 2013 to a one-year conditional discharge and restitution for seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. He was also charged that year with 3rd degree Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance during a raid on Barrett Ave.
Cintron is currently in county jail without bail on a separate felony charge.
DeJesus was also previously charged in the raid with Cintron. He is currently on probation after receiving a five-year sentence in 2015.
Lozada-Berberena allegedly received his heroin from Carlos Encarnacion, of Jamestown, who traveled to New York City frequently to pick up the heroin from a dealer in New York.
Lozada-Berberena also allegedly gave suboxone strips to Leslie Rodriguez, of Jamestown, who then delivered them to her boyfriend who was incarcerated in the Gowanda Correctional Facility. He, in turn, reportedly sold the strips for $300 a piece.
Lozada-Berberena was sentenced to five-years determinate in state prison (Rochester) with two years of post-release supervision. Encarnacion received an indeterminate 1 1/3 to 4 years and a determinate 5 years in the New York State Department of Corrections (He’s currently on a temporary release, per the NYS Department Of Corrections). He was also sentenced to two years of post-release supervision.
Rodriguez was sentenced to a determinate of two years in prison and two-years of post-release supervision. She was released on merit to parole from Albion in January 2016 after being sentenced the previous April.
Rodriguez was also arrested in April 2014 during a Spring St. raid.
Edwin Velazquez, of Falconer, allegedly sold drugs to individuals in his drug rehabilitation group. Carlos “Boobie” Echiaverria, Jamestown, reportedly sold cocaine and firearms during the investigation. He also allegedly obtained heroin from the aforementioned people except Figueredo.
Velazquez was placed on interim probation for two years as the result of “Operation Horseback.” He is currently in Wyoming County on a different charge. He also served three separate stints for various charges prior to his current sentence.
“This was a significant drug operation that distributed thousands of bags of heroin onto the streets of Jamestown and neighboring communities,” said New York State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico. “The demand for this powerful, dangerous and often deadly drug was incredibly high.”
“This speaks volumes as to how widespread the abuse of heroin has become. It is through the combined efforts of federal, state and local law enforcement that has once again resulted in preventing a significant amount of heroin from getting into our neighborhoods. Today’s events send a strong message to dealers throughout the region that we will not tolerate drugs being brought into our communities.”
The drug epidemic, as a whole, appears far from over as we continue to analyze some of the people arrested in the massive operation.
The following were placed on interim probation for at least one year: Rolando Garcia, Angelita “Michelle” Guzman, Francisco Guzman-Gonzalez, all of Jamestown; LaShawn Paige, Binghamton, and Moises “Junito” Lopez-Encarnacion of Mayville.
Garcia was charged with obstruction for allegedly struggling with police during an April 2015 raid of 539 Crescent St., less than a year after “Operation Horseback.”
Paige was arrested on a misdemeanor assault charge in April 2016 in Binghamton.
The following were sentenced to two years of interim probation: Joseph Fontanez, John Grilla, Hector “Loco” Cameron, Javier “Oreja” Carasquillo, Alfredo “Ding Dong” Diaz, Doris Ramos, Eddie “Nelson” Robles, Randall Rolison, Olga Santiago and Jesus Javier Suarez, all of Jamestown; Eric M. Lundsten, Ellington; and Jonathan Ribbing of Lakewood.
Diaz is currently in Willard Correction Facility for 2nd degree Attempted Conspiracy until at least 2020. The Jamestown native also spent time in Wyoming County after committing two felonies in Livingston County.
Ramos and Santiago were both arrested in June 2014. Ramos was charged with two counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child after heroin was allegedly found in her home at 15 Park St. along with two small children. Ramos was additionally charged with 3rd degree Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance and Criminal Use of Drug Paraphernalia.
Santiago allegedly possessed heroin and around $3,000 cash in her home. She was charged with 3rd degree Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance and Criminal Use of Drug Paraphernalia.
Both raids occurred prior to “Operation Horseback.”
Neftali Benitez was sentenced to five years of probation. Suarez was previously on probation for second-degree Unlawful Surveillance.
Christopher Freeney, another individual detained in the operation, is currently in County Jail for a Criminal Conspiracy charge. Freeney was detained in October while reportedly hiding out in Niagara Falls.
Freeney was charged there with two counts of 3rd degree Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance and one count of 5th degree Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance.
Freeney’s brother, Chris, was the victim of two shootings within a year of each other. One occurred at Appleyard Terrace on E. 2nd St. and the other happened at the Tops on Washington St.
Freeney previously served two separate prison stints, one for 2nd degree Attempted Arson and the other for Attempted Sale of a Controlled Substance.
Another accused man, Michael Lisciandro, was charged with driving while intoxicated, aggravated DWI and leaving the scene of a property damage accident during a Nov. 2015 incident near the intersection of Willard St. and Pardee Ave.
Joshua Vanord, another person arrested, was the victim of an April 2015 home invasion on Pershing Ave.
Ricardo Ramos was also collared in the operation. Since then, he was arrested in an English St. raid in Feb. 2015.
Samantha DiLallo, a Randolph native, was sent to a drug program in California in 2015.
A&E Network did an episode of its documentary series, Intervention, chronicling her 24/7 mission to feed her heroin addiction and the fight against her addiction.
“It was a complete godsend to get picked for it because in that area there really wasn’t a lot of recovery options or anything. I wanted help but I couldn’t get it,” said Dilallo during a video interview with WKBW reporter Kendra Eaglin.
“Nobody is immune to it when it comes to this and it can really just destroy lives.”