A five−month undercover investigation targeting drug dealers in Far Rockaway has led to the arrests of 25 residents, including two reputed gang members who live at three of the peninsula’s housing projects, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
The investigation began in October 2008, after detectives with the NYPD’s Queens Narcotics Division got tips that drug dealers were operating around the Ocean Bay Houses, Beach 41st Street Houses and Ocean Village Apartments, Brown said.
The DA’s Narcotics Investigation Bureau along with the NYPD unit purchased crack and powdered cocaine, heroin and marijuana about 50 times over the course of the five−month undercover operation, the DA said.
Eleven people were arrested on felony charges and 14 were arrested on misdemeanors, Brown said. Their ages ranged from 19 to 48, he said.
The felony charges were criminal sale of a controlled substance and criminal sale of a controlled substance in or near school grounds and the misdemeanors were criminal sale of marijuana and petit larceny, according to the DA.
“We anticipate that these arrests will put a significant dent in the drug trafficking and drug−related violence that has long plagued the area,” Brown said in a statement. “These individuals are alleged to have operated with near impunity — selling drugs close to their own homes while a seemingly defiant few are alleged to have sold their products near a public school. All mistakenly thought that they were operating under wraps when they allegedly sold their illicit drugs to undercover officers. In fact, they were under investigation and marked for arrest, prosecution and long prison sentences.”
Among those netted in the investigation was 48−year−old Norma Brown of 54−09 Almeda Ave., who allegedly sold cocaine and marijuana from her Ocean Bay apartment to undercover cops four times between Oct. 16, 2008, and Nov. 15, 2008, the DA said.
Brown said another defendant, 33−year−old Arthur Jenkins of 125 Beach 17th St., allegedly sold heroin to an undercover officer near MS 333 on Beach 57th Street and Beach Channel Drive on Nov. 12, 2008.
Two reputed gang members were also arrested, Brown said.
Kevin Davis, 19, of 71−15 Beach Channel Drive, was arrested on misdemeanor charges and was alleged to have been a member of the Crips gang, the DA said.
Christopher Suarez, 25, of 528 Beach 72nd St., was also charged with misdemeanors and is allegedly a member of the Lost Boys gang, Brown said.
Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e−mail at hkoplowitz
©2009 Community News Group
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