Following hundreds of undercover buys of cocaine, marijuana and heroin, the NYPD charged 51 alleged drug dealers at the Ravenswood and Queensbridge houses, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly announced today.
An indictment names 28 alleged drug peddlers, 15of whom were taken into custody while 13 are on the run. Another 23 suspect were charged with allegedly hawking drugs to undercover officers at the two public housing complexes in Long Island City and Astoria.
The defendants — who range in age from 18 to 57 — are charged with selling heroin, cocaine, oxycodone, methamphetamine and marijuana to the police on hundreds of separate occasions over an eight-month period spanning 2012 and 2013.
Some defendants face up 10 years in prison.
“We have targeted hundreds of drug dealers in public housing developments throughout Queens and in private housing developments like Lefrak City and have put a significant dent in the drug trafficking which has long troubled the residents of these developments,” Brown said.
“NYPD officers patrol and perform dangerous undercover work in public housing developments to protect law-abiding New Yorkers who are disproportionately afflicted by illicit drugs and violence,” Kelly said.
The investigation began last August when detectives assigned to the NYPD’s Queens Narcotics Division teamed up with District Attorney Brown’s Narcotics Investigation Bureau.
In addition to the 38 arrests made yesterday, officers executed seven court-authorized search warrants and recovered varying amounts of drugs, drug paraphernalia and cash.
The defendants are variously charged with the crimes of second-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, a Class A II felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison, third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, a Class B felony punishable by up to nine years in prison, first-degree criminal sale of marijuana, a Class C felony punishable by up to five and one-half years in prison, second-degree criminal sale of marijuana, a Class D felony punishable by up to two and one-half years in prison, third-degree criminal sale of marijuana, a Class E felony punishable by up to one and one-half years in prison, fourth-degree criminal sale of marijuana, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail, fifth-degree criminal sale of marijuana, a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to three months in jail, and fourth-degree criminal facilitation, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison.