Several reputed gang leaders were taken down by the Mount Vernon Police Department on Tuesday as they assisted an FBI investigation to make wide sweeping arrests of reported drug traffickers.
Four suspects have been arrested and are facing charges related to narcotics conspiracy following a wide-ranging investigation that was kickstarted by the FBI in collaboration with the Westchester County and Mount Vernon Police Departments earlier this year.
According to police, the investigation into Corey Marrow, Kraig Utley, Ronald Hechevarria and Julien Rene began in May, and all four are facing charges of conspiracy in relation to the sale and distribution of heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine in Mount Vernon. During the five-month investigation, the task force actively used surveillance, wiretaps and fieldwork before arresting their suspects tis week.
Police believe that Morrow and Utley are the leaders of the trafficking operation, where they’ve been directing their soldiers to sell the illicit street drugs in the city since 2014. The investigation into the operation is ongoing.
“I want to thank my officers for their tireless efforts in keeping our city safe,” acting Mount Vernon Police Commissioner Ron Fatigue said. “They rise above and beyond to protect the people of Mount Vernon. These gang members do not belong on the streets or in our neighborhoods, they bring violence and fear.”
Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas warned that it’s vital that they keep drugs and gangs off city streets because that can lead to escalation and more violent crimes.
“These violent street gangs that sell illicit narcotics and wreak havoc in our streets have no place in Mount Vernon. We know that the distribution of illegal narcotics leads to numerous acts of violence, such as homicides, robberies, stabbings, beatings and assaults,” he said.
“We have faced threats and intimidation tactics from those who don’t want to see Mount Vernon rise but we haven’t backed down. It’s a new day in Mount Vernon. We are focusing on moving the city forward and providing pathways to a brighter future for our young people. We are committed to increasing public safety, adding back positions to our police department, repairing our parks, and turn our streetlights back on.”