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District Attorney

Posted on: August 22, 2018

District Attorney David Hoovler Announce Charges Related to Middletown “Coke Wave” Narcotics Gang

District Attorney



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District Attorney David Hoovler and City of Middletown Police Chief John Ewanciw, Joined by Other State, Local, and Federal Law Enforcement Officials, Announce Charges Related to 

Middletown “Coke Wave” Narcotics Gang

 

Two Defendants Charged with Murder in the Second Degree for the 

August 17, 2017, Fatal Shooting of Coree White

 

Four Defendants Charged with Conspiracy to Commit Murder

 

Thirteen Defendants Charged with Conspiracy to 

Distribute Narcotics and Other Narcotics Offenses

 

Six Additional Defendants Charged with Narcotics Offenses 

After Multiple Search Warrant Executions

 

Orange County District Attorney and Middletown Police Coordinate 

Prosecution of Coke Wave Narcotics Group with Federal 

Authorities Prosecuting “Guap Gang” Narcotics Group 

 

Middletown, NY – Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler and City of Middletown Police Chief John Ewanciw, joined by other law enforcement officials, including Major Pierce V. Gallagher of the New York State Police and Orange County Sheriff Carl E. DuBois, announced that thirteen individuals associated with a Middletown-based narcotics organization have been arrested and charged with crimes ranging from murder, to narcotics sales, to conspiracy, in an enforcement action dubbed “Operation Wipeout.” The charges arose out of an investigation into a group calling itself “Coke Wave” or “Coke Wave Boys,” which sold cocaine primarily in the Linden Avenue area of Middletown. Federal authorities have simultaneously announced charges that they have filed against a rival group, the “Guap Gang,” which is also alleged to have trafficked narcotics in Middletown. An Orange County grand jury charged two members of Coke Wave with murder and alleged that the killing of Coree White in the summer of 2017 was related to ongoing disputes between Coke Wave and the Guap Gang.


Tramel Morman, a/k/a “Biggs,” a/k/a “Splash,” age 25, and Juwan Dolson, a/k/a “La Capone,” a/k/a “Wanny,” age 21, both of Middletown, have been indicted by an Orange County grand jury for crimes including Murder in the Second Degree and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, for the August 17, 2017, shooting death of Coree White and for possessing the loaded firearm that was used to kill White. The indictment alleges that Tramel Morman and Juwan Dolson were members of Coke Wave, which sold narcotics, illegally possessed firearms, and committed violent acts against rival groups, including Guap Gang, and that White was shot and killed in furtherance of Coke Wave members’ conspiracy to sell narcotics.


The indictment also charges Isaya Dolson, a/k/a “Dolo,” age 23, and Taino Lopez, a/k/a “Tai,” age 20, both of Middletown, with Conspiracy in the Second Degree, for conspiring with Tramel Morman and Juwan Dolson to murder White, as well as Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, for conspiring with Coke Wave members and other Coke Wave associates to distribute narcotics and engage in other illegal activities. Angeline Gabriele, age 18, of Middletown, was indicted for Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree for her role in the Coke Wave conspiracy to distribute narcotics. Juwan Dolson, Isaya Dolson, and Taino Lopez were also indicted for Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree and other drug related offenses.


During the investigation into the shooting death of Coree White, the City of Middletown Police Department and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, aided by the New York State Police, including its Community Narcotics Enforcement Team (“CNET”); special agents from the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Group, commenced an investigation into whether Coke Wave was trafficking narcotics in the Linden Avenue area of Middletown and using force and intimidation to keep rival groups from selling narcotics in the area. During the Coke Wave investigation, the City of Middletown Police Department continued an investigation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York into the group called Guap Gang, which is believed to be a rival group to Coke Wave. It is alleged that Coree White was killed because of a dispute between the Guap Gang and Coke Wave. Throughout the investigations, state, local, and federal police and prosecutors shared information and resources to enhance the investigation into each group.


On Monday, August 20, 2018, multiple search warrants were executed in the City of Middletown, and six additional City of Middletown residents, who were either members of or associated with Coke Wave, were charged in Middletown City Court with crimes including Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance and Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree. Michael Jackson and Ursula Berry were charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree for possessing 400 glassines of heroin that were recovered during the execution of a search warrant at their apartment on Cortland Street. Those who have been arrested and charged in the enforcement action related to conspiracies involving Coke Wave include:

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In addition to the arrests of those alleged to have been co-conspirators with members of Coke Wave, the following individuals were arrested on August 20, 2018, during the execution of search warrants:

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The District Attorney’s Office is seeking the public’s assistance in the apprehension of the following individuals who have been charged in the enforcement action, but who have not yet been apprehended:

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The maximum sentence for the Class A-1 felony of Murder in the Second Degree is twenty-five years to life in state prison. The maximum sentence for the Class B felony of Manslaughter in the First Degree is twenty-five years in state prison. The maximum sentence for the Class B felony of Conspiracy in the Second Degree for someone with no previous felony convictions is eight and one-third to twenty-five years, for someone with a previous felony conviction, twelve and one-half to twenty-five years. The maximum sentence for the Class B Felonies of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree for someone with no previous felony convictions is nine years and post release supervision, and for someone with a previous felony convictions, twelve years and post release supervision. The maximum sentence for the Class C felony of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree is fifteen years and post release supervision. The maximum sentence for the Class C felony of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fourth Degree for someone with no prior felony convictions is five and one-half years in state prison and post-release supervision, and for someone with a prior felony conviction, eight years in state prison and post-release supervision. The maximum sentence for the Class D felony of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree is seven years and post release supervision. The maximum sentence for the Class D felony of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fifth Degree is two and one-half years in state prison and post release supervision. The maximum sentence for the Class E felonies of Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree and Criminal Possession of a Firearm for someone with no previous felony convictions is one and one-third to four years, and for someone with a previous felony conviction, two to four years in state prison. The maximum sentence for the Class A misdemeanor of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Seventh Degree is one year in jail.

 

“We will not tolerate the rise of violent street gangs hoping to profit from the devastation that narcotics are already wreaking on our communities,” said District Attorney Hoovler. “The murder of Coree White is further proof that where there is organized narcotics dealing, gun violence inevitably follows. I commend the City of Middletown Police Department for recognizing the connection between violence and organized narcotics activity. Only through the coordinated efforts of various law enforcement agencies can we stem the rise of narcotics gangs. I thank the New York State Police, Orange County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Group, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives for partnering with the City of Middletown Police Department, and my office, in the investigation of Coke Wave and their associates. I commend the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York for their investigation and prosecution of members of the Guap Gang, and thank them for working with us to make Middletown safer.”


“The alleged crimes of the individuals charged in today’s indictments are understandably very disturbing to the residents of the City of Middletown,” said City of Middletown Police Chief John Ewanciw. “For too long, the Coke Wave Boys and Guap Gang engaged in violent and dangerous activities that threatened the safety of our community, and it was their reckless disregard for human life that resulted in the death of Coree White on August 17, 2017. I will not stand for this type of violence in our City, and I am committed to continuing our work with our partners on the federal, state, and local levels to ensure that these types of gangs are eradicated from our community. I would like to thank the family of Coree White for their patience and support during this in-depth and complex investigation. I would also like to thank the men and women of my agency, as well as those of all the other partner agencies, for their hard work and dedication in seeing this investigation to its conclusion. Our work undoubtedly does not end here today, however, the City of Middletown is a safer community because of the arrests and indictments made during ‘Operation Wipeout.’ ”


“This indictment clearly demonstrates the intersection between narcotics trafficking and violent crime,” said Ashan M. Benedict, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. “The City of Middletown is a safer place with these defendants off the streets. I would like to extend my gratitude the ATF’s Hudson Valley Field Office, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, the City of Middletown Police Department, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, and the New York State Police for the hard work and collaboration during this investigation. ATF will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to ensure that our communities are safer for all New Yorkers.”

“I am committed to the collaboration of local, state, and federal resources to combat gang activity in the region,” said Sheriff Carl E. DuBois. “My office regularly works with the FBI Safe Streets Task Force and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, as well as with all of our state and local law enforcement partners, and the result is that our communities are safer today. Our Special Operations Group has worked closely with the City of Middletown Police Department to execute many of the search warrants involved in this and other enforcement actions.”

The cases that are pending in County Court are being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Kerry Kolek. The cases currently pending in City of Middletown Court are being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Neal Eriksen.


A criminal charge is merely an allegation that a defendant has committed a violation of the criminal law, and it is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the State of New York’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.


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