Leader of Bronx Narcotics Organization Sentenced to Life for Murder
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that ADONY NINA, the leader of a drug trafficking organization (the “Organization”) that operated in the Bronx, was sentenced yesterday to life in prison for running the Organization and murdering Aisha Morales in June 2011. NINA was convicted after an October 2013 trial of one count of conspiring to distribute heroin and crack cocaine and one count of discharging a firearm in relation to a narcotics conspiracy. NINA was further convicted after a May 2015 trial of one count of intentionally causing the killing of Aisha Morales while engaged in a narcotics conspiracy and one count of aiding and abetting the use of a firearm that caused the death of Aisha Morales. Both trials were before United States District Judge Richard J. Sullivan, who imposed yesterday’s sentence.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Adony Nina was twice convicted by juries in this District of crimes of violence connected to his crack and heroin trafficking empire. Nina’s reign of violence included the murder of 21-year-old Aisha Morales that he, as the head of his drug trafficking organization, had ordered. For his crimes that terrorized his Bronx neighborhood, Adony Nina has been sentenced to spend the rest of his life in federal prison.”
NINA was initially arrested in April 2012 pursuant to a Complaint charging him with possession of ammunition as a felon. In December 2012, NINA was additionally charged with narcotics trafficking and firearms charges in a Superseding Indictment filed in December 2012. NINA and his co-defendant Candido Antomattei, another high-ranking member of the Organization, were convicted of narcotics trafficking and firearms charges following a trial in October 2013. In April 2014, NINA was charged with the murder of Aisha Morales in a Superseding Indictment, and was convicted of participating in the Aisha Morales murder after a trial in May 2015. Cathy Morales, who along with NINA participated in the murder of Aisha Morales (no relation), pled guilty in February 2015 to one count of intentionally killing an individual while engaged in a narcotics conspiracy. Cathy Morales was sentenced to 45 years in prison in October 2015 for her role in the murder of Aisha Morales. Thirteen other members of the Organization have pled guilty to various federal narcotics and firearms charges.
According to the publicly filed documents, evidence presented at the trials in this case, and statements made in court throughout the pendency of the case:2
From 2008 through 2013, the Organization’s members sold crack cocaine and heroin, among other drugs, primarily in the vicinity of Longwood Avenue, and Beck, Kelly, and Simpson Streets in the Bronx. NINA was the leader of the organization, supplying his workers with crack cocaine and heroin. NINA also supplied his workers with firearms, and relied on the regular use of violence and threats of harm against his workers, customers, and rival drug dealers, all in an effort to control the Organization and maintain control over what he considered to be its territory.
The last Hit issued by NINA
During and in relation to NINA’s administration of the Organization, NINA provided a gun to his worker Cathy Morales and directed her to shoot at a group of women that included the victim, Aisha Morales. Cathy Morales carried out NINA’s instructions and fatally shot Aisha Morales, who was 21 years old at the time of her death, in the head. The shooting took place in the vicinity of 1018 East 163rd Street, in broad daylight. Prior to the murder, NINA, Cathy Morales, and other members of the Organization threatened rival drug dealers who were selling drugs in the Organization’s territory. The murder was the culmination of the dispute with the rival drug dealers. Aisha Morales was not involved in the drug-dealing activities that led to the dispute.
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In addition to the prison term, NINA, 38, of the Bronx, New York, was ordered to pay restitution.
Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the New York City Police Department.
The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher DiMase, Rebecca Mermelstein, Margaret Graham, Daniel Noble, and Sarah Krissoff are in charge of the prosecution.