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A massive NYPD sweep in Jamaica and Far Rockaway led to the arrests of 84 people, including 81 with alleged ties to either the Bloods or Crips gangs, in a drugs and illegal weapons bust last week that also uncovered an alleged plot by a St. Albans man to murder police officers on foot patrol in Jamaica, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
Even though the Bloods and Crips are rivals, Brown said sets, or groups, of the gangs put aside their differences to join forces and form the Flocc, a powerful gang that grossed about $15,000 a week by selling drugs in South Jamaica and Far Rockaway, Brown said.
The Flocc also allegedly carried out gang-related shootings and robberies in Far Rockaway, the DA said.
State Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-St. Albans) called the arrests “a true testament of excellent police work.”
“Just last week, my staff and I launched Operation Safe Peninsula, a crime prevention initiative aimed at combating crime on the Rockaway Peninsula. We are working in conjunction with DA Brown and Commissioner Kelly to make the Rockaways as safe as possible,” the senator said. “Under Operation Safe Peninsula, we will develop several programs such as glass VIN etching, graffiti cleanup day and a youth mentor program, just to name a few.”
One of the 84 people charged was Keith Livingston, a 40-year-old St. Albans man with reputed ties to the Bloods who allegedly was caught on wiretaps planning to shoot police officers on foot patrol in Jamaica, Brown said.
The investigation, called “Operation: Under Siege,” started in early 2008 when NYPD officers from the Queens Gang Squad and Brown’s Narcotics Investigations Bureau focused resources on a drug and gun trafficking network in Far Rockaway, the DA said.
“For too long these gang members have poisoned our streets with narcotics and put fear into the daily lives of innocent people,” Brown said in a statement. “The arrests and seizure of guns and drugs ... should serve as a warning to others that in spite of these vulnerable economic times, when fundamental resources are being stretched to their limits, the law enforcement community is committed to continue to employ aggressive and innovative tactics to track down and prosecute drug dealers, weapons traffickers, violent gang members and other criminals who seek to terrorize our communities and hold honest citizens hostage in their own homes.”
Brown said the investigation led to arrests involving two murders, a number of gang shootings and seizure of 60 handguns, more than 5 kilograms of cocaine, 567 decks of heroin, 2 pounds of marijuana and about $50,000 from drug sales.
Eight other people allegedly involved in the crimes are still being sought, Brown said.
The 45 suspected gang members with Crips ties included members from the Far Rockaway-based sets Hassock Boys, Gang of Apes, Wildmeda and Get it In Bricks, Brown said.
Two of those arrested without gang ties — 42-year-old Tracey Coleman of 257-14 148th Drive in Rosedale and 36-year-old Lloyd Reavis of 116-20 134th St. in South Richmond Hill — were charged with supplying drugs to gang members in both the South Jamaica Houses and Far Rockaway, Brown said.
Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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