Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy D. Sini, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), New York State Police, New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), and the Suffolk County Police Department announced the indictment of a West Babylon man for an alleged major cocaine trafficking operation.
Encarnacion Reyes, A/K/A “Chon,” 57, of West Babylon, is charged with Operating as a Major Trafficker, a class A-1 felony; Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree, a class A-1 felony; Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, a class B felony; two counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, a class B felony; and three counts of Criminally Using Drug Paraphernalia in the Second Degree, a class A misdemeanor.
“This is a major win for the Babylon community, who were vigilant in reporting this defendant’s alleged criminal activity to law enforcement and were an integral part of this investigation,” District Attorney Sini said. “Thanks to this joint effort, his operation has been effectively shut down and we have eliminated a major cocaine supplier in Suffolk County.”
“DEA is focused on working with our state and local counterparts to address drug trafficking and violence threatening our cities,” DEA Special Agent in Charge Ray Donovan said. “Earlier this month, a search warrant was executed resulting in the arrest of a major cocaine trafficker who was using his house as an illegal 24-hour drug store. I commend the members of the NYDETF, SCPD and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office for their diligent work.”
“Thanks to the outstanding work of law enforcement, and with support from the community, we have shut down a significant drug trafficking ring that was disrupting a Suffolk County neighborhood,” said New York State Police Superintendent Keith M. Corlett. “We are committed to working together with our partners to ensure that those who profit from the sale of dangerous, illegal drugs will be held fully accountable for their actions.”
“The charges reflected in today’s indictment highlight the good the police and the public can do, working together, to enhance public safety for all. I commend our NYPD detectives, our state and federal partners and the Suffolk County district attorney’s office for bringing this significant case,” said NYPD Police Commissioner Dermot Shea.
“This major cocaine dealer was taken off the streets thanks to the combined efforts of the community and law enforcement,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart said. “We want the public to know we are listening, take every complaint seriously and appreciate their partnership in helping the department keep communities safe. I would like to recognize the work of our Narcotics Section detectives and our partners in law enforcement who worked side-by-side to put Encarnacion Reyes behind bars.”
An investigation by the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, the DEA’s New York Drug Enforcement Task Force (“NYDETF”), and Suffolk County Police Department into Reyes’ alleged criminal activity began earlier this year in response to numerous complaints from members of the community. Surveillance of Reyes’ house, located on Westchester Avenue, revealed that individuals would drive or walk up to the house at all hours and would frequently approach a window adjacent to the garage of the house, which Reyes allegedly used as a “take-out window” where buyers would purchase cocaine from Reyes or one of his associates.
The investigation revealed that Reyes would allegedly purchase large quantities of cocaine and would then use his West Babylon home to process the cocaine for resale by mixing it with a cutting agent to increase its volume then repackage it for distribution.
Pursuant to the investigation, law enforcement agents from the District Attorney’s Office, DEA’s NYDETF and Suffolk County Police Department executed a search warrant on Reyes’ residence on Aug. 13, which resulted in the recovery of approximately 1.3 kilograms of cocaine, more than $16,000 cash, and various paraphernalia consistent with drug packaging and sales, including scales, cutting agent, packaging materials, a money counter, and six cell phones.
The investigation revealed that Reyes allegedly sold the cocaine for $100 per gram, equating to an approximate street value of $130,000 for the cocaine seized during the search warrant. The high price point at which Reyes allegedly sold cocaine was due in part to a shortage in supply caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The investigation also revealed that in addition to the alleged trafficking of cocaine, Reyes allegedly ran illegal dice and card games out of his West Babylon residence. Surveillance revealed that these gatherings often included more than 20 individuals and occurred throughout the pandemic, resulting in further reports to law enforcement about suspected illegal activity at the house.
Reyes was arraigned on the indictment today by Suffolk County Court Judge Timothy Mazzei. Bail was set at $150,000 cash, $300,000 bond, or $300,000 partially-secured bond. He is due back in court on Oct. 6.
If convicted of the top count, Reyes faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Jake Kubetz, of the Special Narcotics Bureau.
The DEA’s New York Drug Enforcement Task Force comprises agents and officers of the DEA, New York City Police Department and New York State Police.
A criminal charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.