New York City man pleads not guilty to being part of Ohio Street crack ring

Posted March 05, 2012, at 7:13 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A New York City man pleaded not guilty Monday to drug and gun charges stemming from a raid in November on neighboring apartment buildings on Ohio Street.

Jowenky “Bullet” Nunez, 29, pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 28 grams (an ounce) or more of cocaine base, also called crack cocaine, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

Last month, Luis “Animal” Gonzalez, 27, of Reading, Pa., and Dawlin “Boss Man” Cabrera, also known as Rolando Andujar, 29, of New York City entered not guilty pleas to the drug conspiracy charge. Cabrera also pleaded not guilty to the same gun charge Nunez is facing.

Nunez is expected to be returned to New York City, where he is scheduled to appear in state court March 22 on charges of third-degree assault and third-degree possession of fraudulent instruments, defense attorney Wayne Foote told the judge Monday. Both are misdemeanors.

Federal prosecutors have asked that Nunez be held without bail on the federal charges once the New York case is resolved.

The arrests of Nunez, Cabrera and Gonzalez on Feb. 2 in New York City bring to nine the number of defendants facing federal drug charges in connection with a crack cocaine ring that allegedly operated primarily out of apartments at 100 and 102 Ohio St., according to court documents.

At least a dozen people have been charged in state court in Penobscot County in connection with the drug operation.

The distribution ring allegedly operated from September 2010 through October 2011. Investigators recovered 371 grams, or nearly 13 ounces, of crack cocaine, according to court documents.

Defendants allegedly sold baggies of crack cocaine in bundles of 10 and 20. Each baggie contained 0.40 grams, or 0.014 ounces, of crack cocaine, according to court documents. A “10 pack” sold for $375.

Investigators also have surveillance photographs of defendants depositing a total of $141,610 in cash at an ATM on Exchange Street in Bangor, according to the affidavit.

The following people also have been indicted by a federal grand jury on drug conspiracy charges:

• Manuel “Fish” Trinidad-Acosta, 27, of New York City.

• Abraham Lluberas, 21, of New York City.

• Ed Cogswell, 46, of Bangor.

• Pauline Rossignol, 52, of Brewer.

• Jacob “Pinky” Garcia, 21, of New York City.

• Kelvin Mally, 18, of New York City.

In addition to the drug charges, Trinidad-Acosta and Mally were indicted on additional charges of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

All but Mally have been arrested and pleaded not guilty.

Garcia and Trinidad-Acosta are being held without bail. Cogswell and Lluberas have been released on $10,000 unsecured bail. Rossignol has been released on personal recognizance bail.

If convicted of the drug charge, all nine defendants face a minimum of five years and a maximum of 40 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $2 million. Trinidad-Acosta, Cabrera, Nunez and Mally each face an additional mandatory minimum sentence of five years on the gun charges.

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