Seven Defendants Arrested for Narcotics Trafficking in Brooklyn’s Bushwick Houses
|U.S. Attorney’s Office February 28, 2013|
Three indictments were unsealed today in Brooklyn federal court charging six defendants from the Bushwick section of Brooklyn, New York, with narcotics trafficking. Two of the indictments charge groups of defendants with trafficking cocaine base, and the third indictment charges a group with heroin trafficking. The defendants are scheduled to be arraigned today before United States Magistrate Judge Marilyn D. Go at the U.S. Courthouse at 225 Cadman Plaza East in Brooklyn, New York.
The charges and arrests were announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; George Venizelos, Assistant Director in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office; and Raymond W. Kelly, Commissioner, New York City Police Department.
In response to a spate of violence that included the near-fatal shooting of a police officer in January 2012, the NYPD and FBI conducted a one-year joint investigation resulting in today’s charges against members of three separate narcotics trafficking organizations in the Bushwick Houses public housing development in Brooklyn. During the investigation, the NYPD conducted dozens of audio and video recorded purchases of cocaine base, or “crack,” and heroin from the defendants using undercover police officers. The crack cocaine transactions occurred in the hallways and stairwells of buildings in the development as well as just outside the buildings, often in public view. The heroin traffickers sold distribution-level quantities of heroin, frequently pre-packaged and stamped for retail sale. Several of the defendants have serious criminal records that include felony narcotics and firearms convictions.
“All New Yorkers deserve a safe place to live and raise their families. Instead, these defendants allegedly turned the Bushwick Houses into a drug market, rather than a place of refuge for the residents. This case again demonstrates this office’s ongoing commitment to investigating and prosecuting organized drug trafficking activity in our community. Those who introduce drugs and other dangers into our neighborhoods will face the full force of the law,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. Ms. Lynch expressed her grateful appreciation to the FBI agents and NYPD detectives who investigated the case. She added that the government’s investigation is ongoing.
The cases have been assigned to United States District Judges Matsumoto, Mauskopf, and Weinstein. If convicted of the most serious offenses in the indictment, the defendants charged with crack offenses face a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment. The heroin defendants face a minimum sentence of five years’ imprisonment and a maximum sentence of 40 years’ imprisonment.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Amatruda.