Today’s news:

Police round up 20 suspects on drug charges in SE Queens

Nearly a month after the authorities rounded up more than five dozen members of a major drug operation in southeast Queens, the police and Queens district attorney’s office arrested 20 more suspects who they contend were inundating the streets with the contraband.

Queens DA Richard Brown and city Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said their six-month investigation netted positive results. The southeast Queens suspects, who range in age from as young as 16 to as old as 59, were arraigned last Thursday on various charges, including criminal sale of a controlled substance, and face up to nine years in prison, according to Brown.

“It is imperative that we stop those who would flood our streets with drugs and lure our children into lives of crime,” he said in a statement.

The investigation began in September after the police received several complaints from residents about drug activity in the vicinity of 164th Place and 107th Avenue, Brown said.

Queens narcotics officers conducted an intensive surveillance operation that included cameras and undercover officers, the DA said. There were allegedly more than 100 occasions where marijuana and cocaine were sold to the officers, according to Brown.

“This investigation is another example of police and prosecutors working together to reduce drug dealing that too often plagues our neighborhoods,” he said.

Some of the individuals arrested included Shamel Booker, 19, of 170th Street; Stephen Fields, 59, of Guy R. Brewer Boulevard; Brentaya Herris, 20, of 164th Street; Jasmine Smith, 16, of Jamaica; and Maurice Smith, 32, of 127th Avenue.

On Feb. 17, police arrested 62 members of a suspected drug ring that operated out of the Baisley Houses and Rochdale Village. As part of the investigation, the authorities seized several pounds of marijuana, cocaine, $30,000 in cash and seven weapons.

“We are committed to continue to employ aggressive and innovative tactics to track down and prosecute drug dealers and other criminals who seek to terrorize our communities,” the DA said.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.

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