A dozen people have been indicted and 33 others have been criminally charged on drug-related charges stemming from an eight-month undercover investigation at a Far Rockaway housing project, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said last Thursday.
The defendants range in age from 17 to 62, including five suspected gang members who allegedly sold crack, powdered cocaine, heroin, marijuana and other drugs to undercover officers 118 times during eight months at the Hammel Houses, Brown said.
The undercover operation started in July 2009 after detectives with the NYPD’s Queens Narcotics Division received a tip about drug dealing and drug-related violence around the Hammel Houses, the DA said.
In response to the tip, the Narcotics Division and Brown’s Narcotics Investigation Bureau dispatched undercover officers to purchase crack and powdered cocaine, heroin and marijuana, the DA said.
Undercover officers bought narcotics and marijuana on 118 separate occasions during the investigation, Brown said. Some of the drug deals went down near PS 183 at 245 Beach 79th St., he said.
“This initiative is yet another step in our continuing campaign to stop drug-dealing and drug-based violence in Far Rockaway,” the DA said in a statement. “These arrests underscore our commitment to improve the quality of life for the residents of the Hammel Houses. The result of this investigation should be a welcome relief to the many residents of the Hammel Houses, who have been plagued with illegal drug trafficking near their homes and schools and should go a long way to improving the quality of life of the residents of Far Rockaway.”
Besides the arrests, officers executed 10 search warrants and recovered various quantities of powdered and crack cocaine, marijuana and heroin as well as drug paraphernalia, ammunition and cash, Brown said.
The 45 defendants were charged with various offenses, including criminal sale of a controlled substance, criminal sale of controlled substances near school grounds, criminal sale of marijuana, attempted tampering with physical evidence, unlawful possession of marijuana, resisting arrest and criminal facilitation, Brown said.
Among the 45 charged, five are suspected gang members: Kevin Washington, Shamecca Way and Kareem Malloy — believed to be with the Bloods — and Derell Daniels and Rahmel Smith — allegedly with GIB, which stands for Get it In Bricks, a drug reference.
Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4573.
©2010 Community News Group
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