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Jun 13, 2019 3:00 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Another Montauk Drug Ring Member Is Sentenced

Jun 18, 2019 2:39 PM

The last of the top accused conspirators who were arrested and arraigned in August 2018 in connection with a major narcotics distribution ring operating out of Montauk restaurants was sentenced on Thursday, June 13, to four years in prison, with five years of post-release supervision.

Elvin “Pito” Silva-Ruiz had been indicted on a charge of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the second degree, three counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree, and conspiracy in the second degree. His bail was set at $750,000 cash or $1.5 million bond. Mr. Silva-Ruiz failed to post bail and remained in the Suffolk County Jail in Riverside.

Mr. Silva-Ruiz’s plea was sealed until his sentencing this week by Suffolk County Criminal Court Justice Timothy Mazzei, according to Sheila Kelly, director of communications for the Suffolk County district attorney’s office. He pleaded guilty in December to criminal sale of a controlled substance in the second degree and conspiracy in the second degree.

The DA’s office said he had been apprehended at John F. Kennedy International Airport on August 15 as he was attempting to board a plane to Puerto Rico. At the time of his arrest, he had $20,769 cash with him, Ms. Kelly said.

That same day, East Hampton Town detectives and police officers executed search warrants at five locations, arresting 17 men, many of whom live in Puerto Rico but were working seasonally and for nominal pay at Montauk restaurants, including 668 the Gig Shack, Swallow East, O’Murphy’s Pub & Restaurant, Liar’s Saloon and Shagwong Tavern.

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 and digital scales, as well as cellphones and packaging materials.

The seizure of a package by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service uncovered 100 oxycodone and alprazolam pills addressed to one of the locations where the defendants were living, according to Suffolk County DA Timothy Sini.

On Thursday, Mr. Silva-Ruiz was sentenced to four years in prison with five years of post-release supervision for the criminal sale of a controlled substance in the second degree, Ms. Kelly said, in addition to being sentenced to 16 months to four years in prison for conspiracy in the second degree. The sentences will run concurrently, and in total, Mr. Silva-Ruiz will serve four years in prison, Ms. Kelly explained.

Mr. Sini had described Mr. Silva-Ruiz, Geraldo Vargas-Munoz, Antonio Ramirez-Gonzalez, Gilberto Quintana-Crespo and William Crespo-Duran as the distribution ring’s leaders.

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