According to Daily Mail UK, A Fox Business Network producer, a Chipotle executive and an associate at Merrill Lynch are among a group of 18 high-flyers who have been arrested after a massive New York cocaine ring was cracked.
Katie Welnhofer, 29, who works on ‘Mornings with Maria’ on Fox Business, and the Mexican fast food chain’s Chief Marketing and Development Officer, Mark Crumpacker, 53, have been indicted after the operation.
Christopher Dodson, 28, a client associate at Merrill Lynch, and his brother Austin, 24, an associate at real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield, were also arrested.
Underwriting consultant Christian Jewett, 31, Marwood Group senior associate Kyle Holmes, 27, tax accountant Roman Yoffe, 36, and Huffington Post blogger and education professional Alexander Mallory, 31, were also among those indicted.
They were all charged with the criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, according to court documents seen by Daily Mail Online.
It followed a year-long investigation into a massive drug ring that sold $75,000 worth of cocaine and operated from the Lower East Side.
Three kingpins Kenny ‘Jay’ Hernandez, Felix Nunez and Oscar Almonte were also arrested.
They allegedly used livery services to deliver cocaine to customers throughout Manhattan.
The probe is believed to have begun after investment banker Thomas Hughes jumped to his death from his 24th floor luxury apartment in May last year.
Reports suggest police found the number of his dealer on his cell phone when they searched his home.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said: ‘Drug dealers profit by sowing seeds of addiction that destroy lives, families, and communities.
‘We are dedicated to stemming both the supply and demand for dangerous narcotics, and the crime that accompanies the market for illegal drugs.’
‘I thank my Office’s prosecutors and our partners at the NYPD, and in particular, the undercover detectives who put their lives at risk to protect our City’s residents,’ said Police Commissioner William J. Bratton.
‘This narcotics operation was organized and discreet, but it could not withstand the precision of this long-term investigation’.
‘Selling cocaine in a variety of bars and clubs throughout Manhattan, the ringleader also allegedly sold to NYPD undercovers on more than a dozen instances.
‘I commend the brave work of all the investigators who built this case, along with the Violent Criminal Enterprises Unit at District Attorney Vance’s Office.’
From June 2015, they were allegedly obtaining, transporting, processing, packaging, selling, and delivering large quantities of powder cocaine to customers throughout Manhattan, the indictment reads.
Kenny Herndandez, the alleged leader of the cocaine ring, walks into court to face the judge
Hernandez oversaw the ring and personally conducted the vast majority of the sales, including eleven separate sales to undercover detectives.
As detailed in the indictment, members of the ring allegedly used car services to deliver the drugs to buyers, including to delis, restaurants, bars, apartments, hotels, and the buyers’ workplaces.
The defendants delivered to locations across Manhattan, including the Lower East Side, the Upper East Side, Chelsea, the Financial District, and Midtown, as well as areas of Brooklyn and Queens. Many of the sales took place in delis or Duane Reade and CVS pharmacies.
Customers generally paid between $200 and $300 per transaction.
Welnhofer and the Dodsons were arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court on Thursday morning.
According to the indictment, Welnhofer made two purchases of cocaine – one in March and one in May – to an address on West 25th Street.
The producer was led into the court in a jumpsuit with handcuffs and with her hair pulled back. She was held on $15,000 bail.
According to her Facebook profile, Welnhofer is from Wilmette, Illinois. Before joining Fox Business, where she produces for ‘Money Honey’ Maria Bartiromo, she worked for One World Sports.
The Northwestern University graduate has also been a producer of Good Morning America and had stints at Inside Edition and CNBC.
In November 2014, she attended Eric Trump and Lara Yunaska’s lavish wedding.
At the time she and Lara were colleagues at Inside Edition. It is not believed that she and the Trumps remain friends but she does still post on his social media pages.
It is her 30th birthday on Friday.
Christopher Dodson made at least 17 purchases of cocaine between January and May this year. Many of the transactions occurred in Duane Reade pharmacies.
His brother Austin bought cocaine twice – one in February and once in March. According to the indictment, the March purchase was made at a restaurant in Midtown Manhattan.
Both Austin and Christopher Dodson played lacrosse at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania after graduating from the elite Landon School.
Austin met his girlfriend Rosalin Savoie, 23, a marketing co-ordinator with Rimmel London, at Dickinson, where she played soccer.
Savoie, of Bethel, Connecticut, was pictured picking him after he posted bail on Thursday evening.
Roman Yoffe, 36, a tax accountant, also appeared in court as his pregnant wife sat in the public gallery.
He made at least seven cocaine purchases that were delivered to his Water Street place of work, according to the indictment. One was made in a Gristedes supermarket.
Mark Crumpacker, 53, was named Chipotle’s first Chief Marketing Officer in January 2009.
According to his LinkedIn page he oversees all of the company’s marketing functions including advertising, design, events, public relations, social media, and research.
Sources told Daily Mail Online Crumpracker is set to surrender in the next couple of days.
He made six purchases between January and May, all delivered to his home on West 13th Street in the West Village. Many were made in February and March of 2016, the height of his busy tax season.
In 2013, Crumpacker was named Chipotle’s Chief Development Officer and now leads the company’s real estate, design, construction and facilities functions worldwide.
Prior to joining Chipotle, he was the founder, CEO and Creative Director at Sequence, a San Francisco-based branding and interactive agency.
Mallory has blogged on Huffington Post, went to Manhattan’s Fieldston school before Williams and also founded the company Competitive Edge Tutoring.
He made seven purchases between March and May this year, five at a CVS pharmacy near Washington Square Park and two at his home address in the West Village.
Kyle Holmes, 27, of Astoria, Queens, a Senior Associate at healthcare focused financial services firm the Marwood Group, was also indicted.
He made at least six purchases of cocaine between January and April. One purchase, in March, was delivered to the Quality Italian restaurant on West 57th Street.
Busted: The high-flying executives caught in a NYPD cocaine bust
Katie Welnhofer, 29, is among those arrested
Katie Welnhofer, 29, works on Mornings with Maria on Fox Business. She was raised in Wilmette, Illinois and is a graduate of Northwestern. It is her 30th birthday on Friday
She is friends with Eric Trump’s wife Lara and attended their wedding in 2014. She lives in Chelsea.
Mark Crumpacker, 53, is Chief Creative and Development Officer at Chipotle. He leads the company’s real estate, design, construction, and facilities functions worldwide.
According to his LinkedIn profile, he serves on the Board of Directors of the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation.
He attended the University of Colorado and lives in the West Village. A feature in Adweek said he was responsible for designing the company’s first logo in the 1990s
Austin Dodson, 24, attended Dickinson College where he played Lacrosse
Christopher Dodson, 28, lives in Midtown East. He is a client associate at Merrill Lynch
Christian Jewett, 31, is an underwriting consultant of Boxford, Maryland. He previously lived in the East Village. He attended Wake Forest University
Roman Yoffe, 36, of Battery Park is a tax accountant running his own company RVY Accounting Services. He is married to a lawyer who is pregnant with their child. According to their 2008 New York Times engagement announcement Yoffe’s parents live in Stratford, Ontario.
Alexander Mallory, 31, lives in Greenwich Village and attended Williams University. He is founder and educational director Competitive Edge Tutoring
Kyle Holmes, 27, lives in Astoria, Queens. He is a Senior Associate at Marwood Group – a healthcare focused financial services firm.
Roman Yoffe, 36, of Battery Park, was indicted. He is married and his wife is pregnant
Alex Mallory, 31, an education consultant was among the 18 arrested
Source: Daily Mail UK