Michael Williams ran drug gang that plagued region including Rockland
NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced the 112 year sentence imposed on convicted drug runner Michael Williams in Albany County Court this week. Williams is the first of three men convicted of 45 felonies by a jury in a 12 week trial that ended in May. One of the men, Guy Anderson, the leader of the violent gang, was convicted of multiple drug-related offenses, including one count of operating as Major Drug Trafficker, which carries a mandatory life sentence. His sentencing is pending. Williams, 27, was sentenced for his role in the cocaine and heroin distribution activities of the drug running organization.
“Far too many neighborhoods across the state are being destroyed by drugs. My office, in collaboration with law enforcement, is working to keep our streets safer and convict drug traffickers who plague our communities,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “We will continue to work with our partners around the state to eliminate violent criminal enterprises like this one. Our communities will be safer with these leaders behind bars.”
The guilty verdicts were the result of an 18-month joint investigation by the Attorney General’s Organized Crime Task Force, the New York State Police and the Albany Police Department. The three men were charged along with 49 other members of this violent narcotics network who distributed massive quantities of cocaine, heroin and various illegal prescription medications, including Hydrocodone, Oxycodone and Percocet. The operation transported drugs from New York City to areas throughout the Capital Region, as well as Rockland, Greene, Orange, Renssealer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Ulster and Warren Counties. They also operated in the state of Vermont. The vast majority of the other co-defendants previously pled guilty in the case.
The jury returned guilty verdicts against Anderson, 40, for Operating as a Major Trafficker and Conspiracy in the Second Degree along with 15 other counts. The panel found Jamel Pearson, 36, guilty of five counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Second Degree as well as six other counts. Williams was found guilty of Conspiracy in the Second Degree and 16 other counts. Anderson and Pearson are still awaiting sentencing and both face the possibility of life sentences.
The investigation was code-named “OGK,” based on the affiliation of some of the defendants, including Jamel Pearson, with a home grown Albany-based street gang called the Original Gangsta Killas. The investigation further revealed that Michael Williams was affiliated with the Bloods, another street gang present in the City of Albany.
The guilty verdicts were the result of a joint investigation by the New York State Attorney General’s Organized Crime Task Force, the New York State Police and the City of Albany Police Department, with the assistance of the New York National Guard Counterdrug Task Force, the United States Marshals Service, Rensselaer County Task Force, City of Troy Police Department and the Bennington (Vermont) Police Department.
The investigation was directed by OCTF Special Investigator Dennis Guiry under the supervision of Special Investigator Williams Charles, Deputy Chief Investigator Gene Black and Chief Dominick Zarella. Detective James Wood and Detective John Monte were the lead investigators from the Albany Police Department, under the supervision of Sergeant Brian Quinn, Sergeant Ed O’Leary, Commander Jeff Roberts, Commander Anthony Ryan and Chief of Police Steven Krokoff. Investigator Robert Giampetti was the lead investigator from the New York State Police, under the supervision of Senior Investigator Matt Probst and Lieutenant Michael Tietz.
The case is being prosecuted by OCTF Assistant Deputy Attorney General Michael A. Sharpe under the supervision of Deputy Attorney General Peri Alyse Kadanoff and Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice Kelly Donovan.