49th makes drug bust in Van Nest

Two adults were arrest last week following a police raid that resulted in the discovery of marijuana and cocaine in the basement apartment of 1731 Holland. Photo by Victor Chu

Whatcha gonna do when they come for you? Another drug bust has occurred in the Van Nest area.

On Thursday, July 30 following the lead of numerous complaints from local residents, the 49th Precinct raided 1731 Holland Avenue at approximately 1:50 p.m.

During the raid, led by the 49th Precinct Field Intelligence Officer Allen Gonzales and conducted by Police Officer Angel Rosario, substantial amounts of marijuana and cocaine were found in the basement apartment.

“This has been a problem for us for along time. There have been many complaints from the community and the police did fantastic work in gathering the evidence they needed to gain access,” said John Fratta, district manager of Community Board 11. “Making this arrest did get drugs off the street.”

Two arrests were made. Clifford Patterson, a 24-year-old black male was arrested, along with Daisey Diaz, a 35-year-old Hispanic female; both claimed the residency as their home.

The pair was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, based on the quantity recovered.

“This is big because it’s been a community issue and targeting certain areas is vital to our operations. Community safety is very important to us,” said Captain John Greeley of the 49th Precinct. “There have been a lot of complaints on that corner and that building.”

According to the Department of Housing, Preservation and Development the 3-unit building is currently in the Alternative Enforcement Program, a list of 200 poorly maintained buildings in New York City, with approximately 182 violations.

The Department of Buildings also issued two violations for the home, for occupying a building contrary to DOB records and work without a permit. Upon inspection DOB discovered an apartment had been created on the third floor.

Councilman Jimmy Vacca has been working with HPD and the Department of Buildings to see that action is taken against the illegal activities.

“Buildings has not been able to gain access, which is a difficult hurtle to overcome. When Captain Greeley got involved he took the bull by the horns and he was receptive when local residents approached him on the issue and I’m very appreciative to the 49th. I represent only a part of Van Nest, but what happens in other parts affects my part,” said Vacca. “I think what the captain is doing and what we have been trying to do is sending a message to landlords that if they own a house and they’re not living there, don’t think you will leave this neighborhood a pigpen. The neighborhood will respond.”

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