FULTON COUNTY — More than four dozen people were indicted Wednesday in connection with a wide-ranging drug ring that centered on Fulton County, but extended far beyond, state Attorney General’s officials said.
The 54 are accused of roles in the drug trafficking ring, distributing heroin laced with fentanyl, powder and crack cocaine and methamphetamine, officials said.
The ring then distributed it to customers throughout the Capital Region, including Fulton, Montgomery, Saratoga and Schenectady counties, officials said.
The investigation lasted a year and led to the seizure of about two kilograms of methamphetamine, 1.5 kilograms of cocaine, 14 grams of heroin, four handguns and $25,000 in cash, officials said.
The effort — code named “Operation Garage Days” included covert surveillance and hundreds of hours of wiretaps over numerous targeted phones, officials said.
Officials identified the central figures in the network as Brianna Nichols, 25, of Gloversville, and Michael Kuntsch, 33, of St. Johnsville.
Nichols and Kuntsch would often work together to obtain and sell methamphetamine in Fulton County, officials said. The investigation showed Nichols had multiple sources for the drugs that she sold and she sold the drugs to customers who traveled to her from around the region and from even as far away as Lewis and St. Lawrence counties, officials said.
Investigators also intercepted plans during the investigation for a home-invasion-style robbery of a rival drug trafficker in Gloversville, officials said. The investigators thwarted the plot, intercepting the plotters and seized a loaded handgun they had planned to use, officials said.
Officials identified the alleged robbery plotters as Sahib Braan, 30, of Troy, Miguel John, 26, of Saratoga Springs, Jordan Thomas, 23, of Troy, and a fourth person whose name was not immediately clear in a release.
The arrests resulted from a joint investigation between the state Attorney General’s Organized Crime Task Force, the Johnstown Police Department, the Gloversville Police Department, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, the Amsterdam Police Department, the Schenectady County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the New York State Police.
“This investigation is the direct result of the hard work done by members of the various agencies involved and shows just how effective law enforcement can be when working together,” Johnstown Police Chief David Gilbo said in a statement. “This case also shows the scale of drugs, weapons and money that travels through our suburban and upstate communities.”
The indictment was unsealed Wednesday in Fulton County Court and contains a total of 376 counts, officials said. Charges include felony counts of criminal sale and possession of a controlled substance, as well as felony second-degree conspiracy.
“Dangerous drugs have devastated too many communities throughout our state and claimed too many lives,” Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement. “As New Yorkers and Americans across the country witnessed the greatest number of drug overdose deaths in history in 2020, the defendants here were allegedly flooding our streets with the very types of drugs that caused this devastation. Today, we are putting an end to their efforts that put New Yorkers in harm’s way.”
A list released of 52 of those charged included 28 people whose residences were listed as Gloversville, three others from elsewhere in Fulton County, three from Montgomery County, five from Saratoga County and two from Schenectady County.
The list released of those charged, their age, and their location are:
- Walter Allen, 51 years old, Gloversville
- Darnell Alston, 49 years old, Gloversville
- Zionna Belknap, 21 years old, Gloversville
- Everett Russell Bishop, 48 years old, Wilton
- Toni Borromeo, 45 years old, Gloversville
- Sahib Braan, 30 years old, Troy
- Octavius Brooks, 24 years old, Binghamton
- Lamar Brown, 35 years old, Gloversville
- Christopher Clark, 39 years old, Amsterdam
- Lawrence Cross, 34 years old, Gloversville
- Daniel Degnan, 30 years old, Gloversville
- Stephen Dingman, 27 years old, Gloversville
- Floyd Everson, 47 years old, Port Jefferson
- Megan Grubb, 32 years old, Gloversville
- Alex Hanson, 26 years old, Potsdam
- Sean Hines, 38 years old, Gloversville
- Tina Jackson, 49 years old, Gloversville
- Ryan Jacques, 40 years old, St. Regis Falls
- Miguel John, 26 years old, Saratoga Springs
- Donald Johnson, 39 years old, Johnstown
- John Kaminski, 43 years old, Fort Johnson
- Christopher Kippen, 41 years old, Schenectady
- Adam Krzeski, 37 years old, Gloversville
- Michael Kuntzsch, 33 years old, St. Johnsville
- Thomas Laverpool, 30 years old, Brooklyn
- Andre Lewis, 52 years old, Gloversville
- Dylan Mailloux, 30 years old, Little Falls
- Kenneth McKiver, 29 years old, Gloversville
- Ernest McMikle, 35 years old, Gloversville
- Shakona Mikula, 25 years old, Gloversville
- Donovan Millhouse, 25 years old, Gloversville
- Christopher Millington, 37 years old, Gansevoort
- Christian Mitchell, 33 years old, Troy
- Khalif Mitchell, 35 years old, Hudson
- Adonta Moore, 24 years old, Gloversville
- Brianna Nichols, 25 years old, Gloversville
- Barbara Parker, 47 years old, Gloversville
- Wayne Platt, 37 years old, Gloversville
- George Ramson, 43 years old, Rotterdam
- Dalton Remines, 28 years old, Galway
- Jacquelynn Ross, 36 years old, Gloversville
- Dashawn Rowland, 27 years old, Gloversville
- Tessa Taylor, 26 years old, Mayfield
- Jordan Thomas, 23 years old, Troy
- Javiel Tirse, 41 years old, Gloversville
- Steven VanAllen, 43 years old, Gloversville
- Ross VanAlstyne, 26 years old, Gloversville
- Clinton Waddell, 39 years old, Middle Grove
- Laquan Warren, 26 years old, Brooklyn
- Christopher Williams, 53 years old, Gloversville
- Hassan Wilson, 31 years old, Gloversville
- Jamar Wright, 38 years old, Johnstown
The investigation was directed by Johnstown Police Detective Blaine Walker, under the supervision of Detective Sgt. Jonathon Silva and Police Chief Gilbo; as well as the Organized Crime Task Force’s Detective Michael Connelly, under the supervision of Supervising Detective John Monte and Deputy Chief Investigator John McManus. The Attorney General’s Investigations Bureau is led by Chief Investigator Oliver Pu-Folkes.
The Attorney General’s Office also thanked Gloversville Police Detective Brian Knecht, who worked under Gloversville Police Chief Anthony Clay and Detective Lt. Richard Richardson, and Fulton County District Attorney Chad W. Brown for their assistance.