Another Guilty Plea Following Montauk Drug Sweep

Three of the many defendants originally arraigned in East Hampton last August after a major drug sweep in Montauk. The man at the rear in the striped shirt is Geraldo Vargas-Munoz, a.k.a. Chelo, who is described by police as the kingpin of the operation. Independent/T.E. McMorrow

Yet another of those arrested in Montauk last August in a major drug sweep has pleaded guilty. William Crespo-Duran, 35, also known as Flaco, pleaded guilty to possession of over four ounces of a narcotic, an A felony, which is the most serious level of felony charges.

He could face a sentence of eight to 25 years in state prison when he appears in the courtroom of Justice Timothy Mazzei on April 10. He had the cocaine in a plastic bag in his room he rented in the Gates Avenue residence in Montauk when police conducted their raid.

He is the sixth defendant who has pleaded guilty to a felony charge since the arrests were made by a combined operation of the East Hampton Town police, and elements of the East End Drug Task Force, run out of the office of District Attorney Tim Sini.

Antonio Ramirez-Gonzalez, a.k.a. Tete, 30, pleaded guilty on February 6 to conspiracy to distribute drugs in the second degree, a B felony. He is facing the same potential time upstate as Crespo-Duran, and will be sentenced March 13. Also pleading guilty on February 6, and scheduled to be sentenced March 13 was Gilberto Quintana-Crespo, 32, who went by the street name in Montauk as Jimmy. He pleaded to a lesser felony conspiracy charge, and faces a possible year and a third to four-year sentence.

Bryan Ruiz-Sanchez, 23, pleaded to a conspiracy charge on September 12, and was sentenced in October to nine months in jail.

Most of the men who have pleaded guilty are from the Rincon area of Puerto Rico, where the operation was run from, and were working in various restaurants in Montauk, from where they distributed narcotics, including cocaine and heroin.

Two of those who have pleaded guilty to a felony charge of attempted conspiracy to distribute drugs were Montauk residents. Kevin Becker, 30, was sentenced to one and a third to three years in state prison, while John DeMelio, 33, will be sentenced on March 12.

Not all those who pleaded guilty will go forward with a criminal record. Louis Madariaga-Medina, 32, pleaded guilty in East Hampton Town Justice Court to a charge of disorderly conduct, which is considered a simple violation, like a parking ticket. He was fined $375.

Geraldo Vargas-Munoz, a.k.a. Chelo, who was charged with a voluminous number of felonies, and is considered by the DA’s office to have been the kingpin of the operation, is due back in court March 11.

Police are still looking for one of the men indicted, Angel DeJesus-Rodriguez, who is facing five felony charges. He disappeared from Montauk at the time of the raid.

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