Attorney General Eric Schneiderman say the ring was participating in a massive drug distribution network that transported cocaine from Florida and New York City to be sold throughout Western New York.
State and local law enforcement agents led by the New York State Attorney General's Organized Crime Task Force met early this morning to stage "Operation Snowbird." Simultaneous raids occurred in New York City and in Miami Florida.
Twenty-eight "major drug traffickers" were arrested and indicted. In all, 34 kilograms of cocaine with an estimated street value of $2.7 million, over $700,000 in cash, five vehicles, and eight guns have been seized.
New York State Police, along with the Rochester Police Department conducted a year-long investigation that included video surveillance and hundreds of hours of wiretaps at over a half a dozen locations in Monroe and Orleans counties.
In a press statement, Schneiderman says "This massive illegal drug operation infected our neighborhoods by bringing $1 million of cocaine in Rochester each month, but now it's shut down for good. My office, with our strong collaboration with law enforcement partners, will continue to root out, arrest, and prosecute these criminals who tear apart communities with illegal narcotics."
According to court paperwork, the Rochester-based ring leader, Estanislao M. Martinez (a.k.a. Kiki Martinez) had numerous connections in New York City and Florida. Members of his operation allegedly transported massive amounts of drugs from Florida and New York City to Rochester, in vehicles containing hidden compartments. The indictment states that from Rochester, the cocaine was packaged and sold throughout Western New York.
Authorities say Martinez and his enterprise brought in more than $1 million of cocaine into the city of Rochester each month.