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31 busted in 'Operation Un-Wise', accused of running Finger Lakes heroin ring

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman speaks in Syracuse on April 21, 2017/ CNYCentral file photo

31 people have been charged for allegedly running a heroin trafficking ring in the Finger Lakes, according to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

Schneiderman announced the arrests and 217-count indictment against the suspects Wednesday. The suspects are accused of distributing "mass quantities" of heroin from New York City and throughout the Finger Lakes Region. “Today’s arrests should send the message to those terrorizing and dealing death in our communities: we will find you and prosecute you,” said Attorney General Schneiderman.

The arrests came after a five-month investigation, dubbed 'Operation Un-Wise' in reference to the central figure of the alleged heroin distribution network, Arthur "Wise" Erskine.

According to Schneiderman's office, Erskine was an Ithaca-based heroin dealer who bought heroin from a source in New York City and smuggled them into the Finger Lakes area.

The attorney general further charges that hundreds of grams of heroin smuggled into the area earlier this year were laced with Fentanyl. Schneiderman's office says in a five day period after that heroin was smuggled in,there were eight overdose calls in Tompkins County and Tioga County, including one that ended with the death of a woman who was allegedly a customer of one of the defendants.

The indictments, which were unsealed Wednesday in Tioga County Court, charge 31 people with various counts of Criminal Sale and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance and Conspiracy in relation to their involvement in the narcotics trafficking network. Those charged include:

  • Joseph Besemer, 34 years old, of Newfield, NY
  • Shaylee Bisgrove, 24 years old, of Ithaca, NY
  • Destiny Boda, 25 years old, of Ithaca, NY
  • Lynn Boda, 50 years old, of Ithaca, NY
  • Myia Boda, 31 years old, of Ithaca, NY
  • Corey Bond, 31 years old, of Ithaca, NY
  • Stormie Coyne, 39 years old, of Ithaca, NY
  • Katie Crapo, 28 years old, of Odessa, NY
  • Michael Dawson, 26 years old, of Willseyville, NY
  • Arthur Erskine, 40 years old, of Ithaca, NY
  • Erica Farrell, 32 years old, of Candor, NY
  • Dioremi Feliz, 36 years old, of New York, New York
  • Brittany Ford, 28 years old, of Bronx, NY
  • Shanakia Gray, 34 years old, of Newfield, NY
  • Zachary Kelly, 32 years old, of Bronx, NY
  • Yvette King, 40 years old, of Lansing, NY
  • Zavierus King, 22 years old, of Lansing, NY
  • Johnny Lee, 37 years old, of Ithaca, NY
  • Angelo LeGrande, 42 years old, of Ithaca, NY
  • Jerica Luoma, 28 years old, of Ithaca, NY
  • Eric MacDonald, 32 years old, of Candor, NY
  • Dustin Myers, 29 years old, of Ithaca, NY
  • Jose Polanco, 38 years old, of New York, NY
  • Devon Rose, 19 years old, of Willseyville, NY
  • Branden Schmeltz, 22 years old, of Spencer, NY
  • Nicole Spence, 43 years old, of Ithaca, NY
  • Aylah Stewart-Boda, 25 years old, of Ithaca, NY
  • Brandon Stone, 26 years old, of Candor, NY
  • Savanna Washington, 26 years old, of Candor, NY
  • Justin Westbrook, 25 years old, of Spencer, NY
  • Joseph White, 26 years old, of Cortland, NY

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