7 Arrested in New York for kidnapping, cocaine trafficking

NEW YORK – Audrey Strauss, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Raymond P. Donovan, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), announced today the unsealing of a nine‑count superseding indictment charging FERNANDO RA, KENNY BATISTA, FERNANDO ROSARIO CRUZ, YONATHAN JUNIOR GARCIA VALDEZ, ANTTWAN CROSBIE, ELMER GILL, and MICHAEL ASHLEY with kidnapping, robbery, firearms, and narcotics offenses.

As alleged in the Superseding Indictment unsealed today and other publicly available documents, the charges arise, in part, from an October 3, 2020 kidnapping and robbery during which certain of the defendants brandished a firearm and assaulted two victims in connection with the defendants’ trafficking of cocaine.

RA was previously charged by indictment with firearms and narcotics offenses, based on his possession of an assault rifle, a loaded pistol, and approximately 700 fentanyl pills.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said:  “As alleged in the Superseding Indictment, the defendants were responsible for a brutal kidnapping and robbery in furtherance of their narcotics trafficking.  Thanks to the extraordinary work of our partners at the DEA and the Special Agents and Investigative Analysts at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the defendants now face federal charges for their crimes”

DEA Special Agent in Charge Raymond P. Donovan said:  “As alleged, this investigation took us to the dark side of drug trafficking that includes kidnapping, armed robbery, and assault.  These arrests make it poignantly clear that alleged traffickers disregard the rule of law and will stop at nothing to continue their illegal trade.  I applaud the investigators and prosecutors whose exceptional work resulted in today’s announcement.”

A chart containing the names, charges, and maximum penalties for the defendants are set forth below.  The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the Court.

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