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Nine in custody after federal sting in Binghamton, Johnson City

Nine people face drug trafficking conspiracy charges after a federal sting Tuesday morning, according to U.S. Attorney Richard S. Hartunian.

The operation led to a dozen homes -- eleven in Binghamton and one in Johnson City -- being raided at approximately 6 a.m.

The raids took place at:
- 31 Grace St., Binghamton
- 27 Mather St., Binghamton
- 30 Mather St., Binghamton
- 5 Penny Lane, Binghamton
- 5 Edwards St., Binghamton
- 178 1/2 Murray St., Binghamton
- 139 Clinton St., Binghamton
- 58 Jarvis St., Binghamton
- 1 Pleasant St., Binghamton
- 150 Moeller St., Apt. 11-1, Binghamton
- 17 McDonald Ave., Binghamton
- 180 North Broad Ave., Johnson City

The nine men arrested are allegedly part of the "Eddie Block Gang", a drug trafficking organization that prosecutors say distributes cocaine, crack, heroin, marijuana and prescription drugs. The defendants are:

- Anthony Randolph Jr., 29, of Binghamton
- Theodore J. Cook, 27, of Binghamton
- John P. Abbadessa, 21, of Binghamton
- Aalim M. Shabazz, 23, of Binghamton
- Rashawn C. Cauthen, 24, of Binghamton
- Jalon T. Parker, 23, of Binghamton
- Terrell S.Collins, 23, of Binghamton
- Anthony E. Boyd Jr., 24, of Endicott
- Izabivone Hughes, 22, of Johnson City

During arraignment Tuesday afternoon in federal court in Binghamton, the prosecution explained what led federal agents to these homes, and these men.

It was the result of a four-month investigation by federal, state and local law enforcement, which used wire taps to track their activity. Investigators say they also set up sales between the suspects and undercover cops.

But it doesn't end with drug trafficking. Binghamton Mayor Rich David (R) says local police believe some of them are to blame for more crime in the city.

"There have been a few incidents of shots being fired within the last month," David said. "And several of the individuals that were apprehended this morning were involved in those incidents."

The government requested the men not be released, saying they are a danger to the public and a flight risk. For now, they remain in federal custody, but are each entitled to a bail hearing.

If convicted of drug conspiracy, eight of the men face a minimum of ten years, and a maximum of life in federal prison, and a fine of up to $10 million. Due to Cook's two prior drug felony convictions, he faces a mandatory life sentence if he's found guilty, plus a fine of up to $20 million.

Randolph also faces an additional charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. On that charge alone, he faces a minimum of ten years and a maximum of life in prison, plus a fine of up to $250,000.

Johnson City Mayor Greg Deemie (R) thanked all law enforcement involved, and told Fox 40 he was glad the raids were carried out safely and quietly.

"This puts the word out to the residents that you might not see it at all times,
but we are working diligently to take down crime and drugs in our local municipalities," Deemie said. "It sends a message that we're not taking this lightly. We're serious, and we're going to keep moving forward."