Support Local News.

Please support our work by subscribing today.

Grand jury indicts 24, including two local business owners, in drug trafficking ring

Get the weekly rundown
Sign up to receive our weekly Legal Insider newsletter

A federal grand jury has indicted 24 people — including two local restaurant owners —  in a southeastern Connecticut drug trafficking ring that allegedly involved money laundering through a New London pizza restaurant, the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut announced Thursday afternoon.

The indictment and a corresponding news release indicate that at the center of the ring is Anthony "Jak Mac" Whyte, a 44-year-old New London resident. He is accused of obtaining heroin, fentanyl and cocaine from Connecticut and beyond and distributing them to others charged in the indictment, who allegedly sold the drugs to customers and street-level drug dealers.

This conspiracy to distribute narcotics allegedly occurred between March 2018 and February 2019. The news release stated that the investigation involved court-authorized wiretaps, as well as controlled purchases and seizures of heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine.

The grand jury returned the indictment on Tuesday and it was unsealed Thursday, after eight defendants were arrested.

One of those was New London restauranteur Joshua Feldman, 45. He co-owned Ivy & Azure, a Bank Street restaurant that opened last fall but closed Feb. 2 to rebrand, upon the other owner's departure from the business.

City records show Feldman registered the 74 Bank St. spot under the trade name of "Noble" on Feb. 6. He applied for a liquor permit on Feb. 18, and Noble Restaurant announced in a Facebook post it would open Feb. 19 for lunch.

Another New London restaurant owner charged in the indictment is Pawcatuck resident Amy Sarcia, owner of 2Wives Brick Oven Pizza on Huntington Street, and owner of No Anchor Fine Food & Provisions in Noank. Sarcia, 49, was one of 11 alleged co-conspirators the Drug Enforcement Administration arrested on Feb. 21.

That was a date in which authorities found 1.5 kilograms of cocaine, 350 grams of heroin and 10 firearms in Whyte's apartment, the news release said. Investigators seized nearly $200,000 in cash from other defendants.

The indictment charges Sarcia and Whyte with money laundering; Sarcia is accused of accepting narcotics proceeds from Whyte, in return providing him with quarterly paychecks from 2Wives. She allegedly issued the paychecks from April 2017 to at least April 2018, and issued Whyte a W-2 tax form from her corporation EED LLC to disguise the money as employment wages.

Sarcia co-owns 2Wives with Edward DeMuzzio, who is listed as the sole principal of EED LLC on the Connecticut Secretary of the State's website. DeMuzzio has been indicted on federal charges of conspiracy and theft surrounding the lavish trips that he and other Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative members took to the Kentucky Derby.

Sarcia, property manager of a number of apartments in New London, is accused of permitting Whyte to use space "to store and dispense narcotics," according to the indictment released Thursday.

Along with Feldman, Sarcia and Whyte, the indictment charges the following people with possessing and conspiring to distribute various amounts of heroin, fentanyl, cocaine and crack cocaine:

  • Royshawn "Boy Roy" Allgood, 29, of Norwich and New London
  • Holly Butler, 41, of Norwich
  • Kemar Cameron, 31, of West Haven
  • Niren "King" Davis, 37, of Norwich
  • Earlene "Big Fish" Dudley, Jr., 38, of Norwich
  • Victor Encarnacion, 31, of Norwich
  • Antoine "Cream" Forbes, 39, of Uncasville and Westerly
  • Ramel "Ra" General, 37, of Groton
  • Benjamin Gregor, 33, of Uncasville
  • Jackie Hernandez, 41, of New London
  • Juan Hernandez, 35, of New London
  • Ronald Ketter, 38, of New London
  • Orlayn "Cuba" Marquez, 36, of Bristol
  • Brian McClellan, 29, of Norwich
  • Aggray "Jamaican Berry" McLeod, 50, of New London
  • Jeremy "Jerm" Sanborn, 40, of Ledyard
  • Dilma Solange Silva, 32, of Waterbury
  • Rayquan "Gatz" Stokley, 36, of New London
  • Sasha Swain, 43, of Old Saybrook

Officials are not releasing the names of two defendants who are charged but still being sought by law enforcement.

U.S. Attorney John H. Durham stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt, and each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The investigation was led by the DEA, Connecticut Statewide Narcotics Task Force and Connecticut Department of Correction, along with the police departments of New London, Waterford, Stonington and Groton City. The prosecutors are Assistant U.S. Attorneys Natasha M. Freismuth and S. Dave Vatti.

Whyte, General and Marquez each face a minimum of 10 years in prison and maximum of a life sentence, if convicted. Allgood, Butler, Cameron, Dudley, Encarnacion, Gregor, Jackie Hernandez, Sarcia and Silva each face a minimum of five years and maximum of 40. The other defendants face a maximum of 20 years.

The indictment also charges Sanborn with unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, due to the combination of previous convictions and his alleged possession of a Taurus PT .25 caliber handgun on Feb. 21. Between 2002 and 2014, Sanborn was convicted of identity theft, trafficking in counterfeit access devices, possession with intent to distribute narcotics and sale of a hallucinogen or narcotics.

It's not mentioned in the indictment, but Groton Town police charged Feldman on Dec. 11 with possession of a controlled substance, possession of narcotics with intent to sell, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of hallucinogens with intent to sell, state court records show. He was also convicted in 2011 of possession of more than 4 ounces of marijuana. He was sentenced to four years in prison, execution suspended, with three years of probation.

e.moser@theday.com

Editor's Note: This version corrects Joshua Feldman's business affiliations.

READER COMMENTS

Loading comments...
Hide Comments

TRENDING

PODCASTS