Drug Gang Leader Convicted
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown announced on Friday, February 4 that Gregory "Nef" Robinson, the leader of the Regulators, a violent drug gang that controlled a million dollar a year crack/cocaine operation in the Edgemere Houses, was convicted of criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal possession of a weapon and assault. The jury failed to reach a decision with regard to an enterprise corruption charge. Robinson, 29, will be sentenced by Supreme Court Justice Richard L. Buchter on February 17 and faces up to 25 years in prison.
"A year ago this month we announced the indictment of the defendant Robinson and six of his associates on charges of being responsible for pervasive drug dealing in and around the Edgemere Houses," said Brown. "While Robinson chose to go to trial, his six associates plead guilty to enterprise corruption. Robinson will now join his fellow gang members in prison--hopefully for a long time."
Brown said that the Regulators had a strategy of transacting a large volume of sales--sometimes as many as 200 each day--of small amounts of crack/cocaine in order to evade being caught by the police in possession of large amounts of drugs at any one time. As a result of this strategy, the gang would replenish their stock several times a day.
The Regulators, in operation since the early 1990's, used "strict and violent" discipline to rule the crack/cocaine trade in the Edgemere Houses. Attempts by rival drug dealers to operate within their territory were met with brutality and gunfire, endangering residents and visitors alike. The gang's principal base of operation was the courtyard in the public housing development at 54-22 Beach Channel drive, with a cache of weapons and drugs stored in a second floor apartment at 54-30 Beach Channel drive.
In addition, Brown said, "The gang used brutal enforcement techniques to punish recalcitrant gang members." It was alleged that on June 11, 1998, inside a stairwell of 54-30 Beach Channel drive, Robinson and three of the gangs street dealers brutally assaulted and beat a member of the gang who they believed had stolen money from them.
The investigation and arrests were carried out by investigators assigned to the Queens Narcotics Borough.
"This conviction and our continued presence in the community has already contributed to a more peaceful Rockaway, and peace of mind for its residents," Brown said. "The conviction of the leader and members of this drug gang will reduce the level of violence in the area and bring a measure of relief to the law abiding tenants of the development."