Two More Members Of Montauk Cocaine Ring Sentenced

Antonio Ramirez-Gonzalez, one of the Montauk 17, from Rincon, Puerto Rico, was sentenced March 13 to three to nine years in state prison. Independent/T. E. McMorrow


Two more members of the Montauk 17, the group of men swept up by the East End Drug Task Force this past August, almost all part of a major cocaine and Oxycodone distribution ring that operated out of restaurants across Montauk, were sentenced Wednesday, March 13, in the county courtroom of New York State Justice Timothy Mazzei.

Antonio Ramirez-Gonzalez, 30, who went by the street name of Tete, pleaded guilty on February 6 to a single count of conspiracy as a B felony. He had been facing multiple felony narcotics related charges. He received a three-to-nine-year prison sentence. Police said that when they raided his room at the Zorba Inn they found $30,000 in cash. At the time, he had been working as a dishwasher at the Surf Lodge.

Before being sentenced, Ramirez-Gonzalez was asked by Justice Mazzei if he had anything to say to the court. Ramirez-Gonzalez took a long pause before saying, softly, “No.”

He was required to sign an agreement that his remaining assets would be seized by Suffolk County. Already out the $30,000 found in his room, he signed off to his final $386.40 being turned over.

According to his attorney, Walter Zorn, Ramirez-Gonzalez will be entered into the New York State Prison’s Shock program while behind bars. It is a six-month program run in a military-style boot camp. According to the New York State Prison system’s website, if he can complete the program, he could be eligible for an earlier release. The cutoff age for the program is 35, the website states. Zorn told reporters before the sentence was officially imposed that the Shock program is “effective and long lasting” in keeping former drug addicts from returning to their criminal ways.

Also sentenced was Gilberto Quintana Crespo, 33. He pleaded guilty to a lesser felony charge of conspiracy, and was sentenced to one year behind bars. He will remain in Suffolk County jail to serve out his time, and will likely be eligible to be released in a couple of months, with credit for time served since his arrest in August.

William Crespo-Duran pleaded guilty to a possession charge February 20. He had over four ounces of cocaine in his room when he was picked up in the sweep. He will be sentenced April 10.

All three hail from Rincon, Puerto Rico, where District Attorney Tim Sini has said the ring was being operated from.

Another of the Montauk 17 to take a plea on a felony charge recently was a year-round Montauk man, John Valentin Doherty.

Valentin Doherty was selling cocaine out of two Montauk restaurants between 2017 and 2018, the DA said; Salivar’s in the dock area, and Shagwong Tavern on Main Street. Seven of those sales were to undercover agents, leading to 14 felony charges — seven possession with intent to sell counts, and seven for selling narcotics. On February 25, he was allowed to plead to one of the felony counts of selling, with the other charges being dismissed in satisfaction for the plea, and will be sentenced on April 24 to a minimum of one year behind bars, with a maximum of nine.

Seven men, thus far, have pleaded guilty to felony charges following the raid.

Seven men, thus far, have pleaded guilty to felony charges following the raid.

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