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Feb 7, 2019 5:15 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Two Men Plead Guilty To Felonies In Connection With Montauk Drug Bust In August

Feb 12, 2019 4:44 PM

Two of the 17 men arrested and arraigned over the summer in connection with what the Suffolk County district attorney’s office described as a narcotics distribution ring operating out of Montauk restaurants—the pair were said to be among five ringleaders in the illicit network—each pleaded guilty to a single felony charge on Wednesday, February 6.

According to court records, Antonio Ramirez-Gonzalez, 30, pleaded guilty to a class B felony charge of conspiracy in the first degree. The same day, Gilberto Quintana-Crespo, 32, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of conspiracy in the fourth degree, a class E felony.

Both men are set to be sentenced on March 13 by Judge Timothy Mazzei in Suffolk County Criminal Court.

Mr. Ramirez-Gonzalez was indicted by Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini in August. Bail, which he failed to meet, was set at $750,000 cash or $1.5 million bond. Mr. Quintana-Crespo was indicted on conspiracy in the second degree, a B felony, and his bail was set at $500,000 cash or $1 million bond, which he failed to make.

Members of the alleged drug ring—mostly seasonal workers employed at Montauk restaurants and bars—were receiving packages of illicit substances through the mail, prosecutors said. On August 15, 2018, East Hampton Town detectives and police officers executed search warrants at five locations in Montauk, resulting in the arrest of 17 men, many of whom live in Puerto Rico but were working seasonally and for nominal pay at Montauk restaurants.

Detectives said they seized approximately $100,000 in cash, 700 grams of cocaine, marijuana and various pills, including Alprazolam and hydrocodone, in addition to assorted drug paraphernalia, including a kilo press, cutting agents, cellphones, digital scales and packaging materials.

Mr. Sini described Mr. Quintana-Crespo, Mr. Ramirez-Gonzalez, Geraldo Vargas-Munoz, Elvin Silva-Ruiz and William Crespo-Duran as the narcotics distribution ring’s leaders. The cases of the other three men have not yet been adjudicated.

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