A Baldwin man was convicted Thursday of conspiring with other drug dealers to flood the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Sunset Park and Bay Ridge with crack, powdered cocaine and heroin.
A federal jury convicted Rafael Antonio Fabian, 43, after a two-week trial of a single count of conspiring to distribute and possession with intent to distribute narcotics.
U.S. Chief District Court Judge Dora Irizarry ordered Fabian remanded until sentencing. He faces at least 10 years in prison, with a maximum sentence of life behind bars. A sentencing date has not been set.
“With today’s verdict and the previous guilty pleas of his co-conspirators, Fabian’s poison-pushing drug trafficking operation has been dismantled,” said Richard Donoghue, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York. “Together with our law enforcement partners, this office will be unrelenting in pursuing networks like Fabian’s that imperil our communities.”
Jason Russo, Fabian's Uniondale-based defense attorney, said he was "dissatisfied" with the verdict and planned to appeal. "We fought very hard on his behalf," Russo said.
Prosecutors said that between January 2014 and March 2016, Fabian, who used the aliases “Calvo,” “Rafaelito” and “Alofoke Music,” conspired with a crew of other drug runners to supply narcotics across Brooklyn.
Fabian and his co-conspirators maintained a stash apartment in Sunset Park and employed a crew of dealers to deliver the narcotics, prosecutors said. Fabian, officials said, would often make deliveries in an Audi sedan equipped with a secret trap compartment in the glove box to hide the drugs.
Prosecutors said Fabian also supplied his co-conspirators with encrypted Blackberry phones that he thought were more secure than traditional smartphones.
Among the evidence at trial were testimony from co-conspirators, seized narcotics, ledgers containing the names of drug customers and transactions and more than 50 pages of Blackberry messages, officials said.