Police & Fire

Former Basketball Star Accused Of Heading Heroin Ring


Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced that 13 people were arrested yesterday and charged in connection with a multi-million dollar heroin distribution ring that operated out of various Brooklyn neighborhoods, including Brownsville, Bushwick, Flatbush, and Fort Greene.

Former NCAA and ABA basketball player and Brownsville native, James “Fly” Williams, was allegedly one of the ringleaders in the operation that purchased narcotics from suppliers in the Bronx and re-sold them throughout Brooklyn.

In an investigation that took place between September 2016 and May 2017, it is reported that the ring sold about 2 million bags of heroin within a three month period at a street value of approximately six to ten dollars each.

During a search yesterday, police found over $185,000 in cash, six firearms, and over two kilos of heroin.

Along with 65-year-old Williams, Jeffrey Britt (“Doobie”), Hanziel Martinez Cintron (“Johnny”), and Richard Rivera (“Cristiano”) were arrested and charged as major traffickers in “violation of the state’s drug kingpin statute,” Gonzalez states. Each faces a maximum sentence of up to 25 years to life in prison.

“Doobie” is Wiliams’ 34-year-old stepson, according to the New York Daily News. Williams’ 36-year-old son, also named James, was also arrested, the newspaper states.

It is alleged that “Cristiano” supplied the narcotics to “Johnny”, who cut, packaged, and branded them—each glassine bag had a logo on it, according to Gonzalez’s statement.

“Johnny” allegedly sold the heroin to “Doobie,” who then distributed the drugs per Williams’s direction. The ring used a network of street dealers as well as a number of “redistributors” working around New York City and in some upstate counties, according to Gonzalez.

The drugs were reportedly sold in several Brooklyn neighborhoods, including Brownsville, Bushwick, East New York, Flatbush, and Fort Greene, with many sales taking place near the Brownsville Recreation Center on Linden Boulevard. For 15 years Williams used to mentor local youths at the recreation center, according to the Daily News.

Gonzalez says additional arrests are expected in the investigation.

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