Police wrangled up another plethora of narcotics from Bronx streets on Wednesday, May 8 after year’s worth of intense investigating.
The NYPD and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration seized 176 pounds of cocaine with a street value of almost $3 million while indicting 19 on charges related to trafficking cocaine and club drugs throughout the entire city. Eleven of the accused are from the Bronx.
“We will stop traffickers of any illicit drugs that devastate lives and neighborhoods,’” said District Attorney Darcel Clark upon the news of the bust.
The DA continued on, explaining that the defendants are charged in three indictments totaling 227 counts of various degrees of criminal sale and criminal possession of a controlled substance and conspiracy. Two of the defendants are charged with operating as a major trafficker, which carries a minimum of 15 to 25 years to maximum of life in prison if convicted.
Fourteen of the defendants were arrested in the May takedown while 12 have been arraigned before Bronx Supreme Court Justice John Carter, two are awaiting arraignment and five have not been apprehended yet, police say.
“These are serious charges, and bringing those who commit these acts to justice is dangerous work,” said NYPD Commissioner James O’Neil after the bust.
According to the year-long investigation by Clark’s office, NYPD Bronx Gang Squad, Drug Enforcement Administration and Homeland Security Investigations, the defendants trafficked large quantities of the cocaine, which was then sold in bulk to distributors, and which in turn was sold in $10 and $20 packets, sometimes in crack form, and then disturbed on Valentine Avenue, Grand Concourse and East 187th Street.
One indictment charges ten people with the cocaine operation. It also charges Alvon Pierre and Elvis Gomez for operating as a major trafficker.
During the police operation, investigators seized the 176 pounds of cocaine in a vehicle and packed in suitcases in an apartment on 191st Street in Flushing, Queens that is connected to Pierre and co-defendant Robert Nieves as well as the Bronx dealers.
Prior to that, police seized $135,000 from a secret compartment in Gomez’ car in the Bronx.
Another indictment charges five people with distributing Ecstasy, Xanax and Ketamine. According that indictment, two of the defendants conspired to import pills from overseas, via international mail. Authorities in Brussels, Belgium intercepted 1.25 pounds of pure controlled substances before they could reach their destinations in the Bronx and Manhattan, according to the DA’s office.
This bust comes just days after the DEA seized over $2 million worth of drugs, 1,200 oxycodone pills of varying dosages, while arresting over two dozen dealers and pill pushers that were operating in and around that same section of the Grand Concourse where this subsequent police operation was executed.
“The NYPD, and its partners, are committed to eradicating drug trafficking in the City of New York…I commend the NYPD investigators, DEA Agents, Homeland Security Investigators, and the members of the Bronx District Attorney’s Office for their work in this significant case,” O’Neil proudly said.