Massive Drug Sweep Nets 18
Eighteen alleged drug dealers were indicted Thursday for selling crack cocaine to undercover New York City Police officers in an anti-drug enforcement initiative in Far Rockaway, officials said.
The bust is the result of a lengthy investigation by police in the 101 Precinct led by Captain Walter Salowski and a lieutenant whose name is being withheld due to the nature of his work.
District Attorney Richard Brown said, "The defendants have been charged with selling crack cocaine and accused of drug dealing in Far Rockaway.A0 The charges are serious and carry a sentence upon conviction of up to life in prison. The defendants will be vigorously prosecuted so as to ensure that they never againA0threaten the lives of our children and our law-abiding citizens."
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said, "Thanks to the diligent and painstaking efforts made by the detectives in this multi-month operation, we’ve taken down a brazen drug peddling operation. As always, our officers performed admirably throughout this long-term investigation. Through a combination of technology, active community assistance and persistent police work, our officers helped bring this criminal enterprise to justice."
Brown identified the defendants as: Ramon Terrero, 27, and Ramon Maria, 38, both of 515 West 183rd Street in Manhattan — the alleged leaders of the narcotics organization; and alleged organization members residing in Far Rockaway; Wilfredo Medina, of 446 Beach 47 Street; Kareem Hamilton, 22, of 441 Beach 51 Street; Elsa Perez, 39, 249 Beach 15th Street; Jamal Hazel, 24, 56-16 Beach Channel Drive; Steven Hazel, 28, 56-16 Beach Channel Drive; Phil Erdaide, 32, 331 Beach 32nd Street; Brian Hamilton, 34, Beach 67thA0 Street; Noel Rod riguez, 33, 11-10 Nielson Street; Lamar Thomas, 28, 20-47 Seagirt Boulevard; Kazzie Johnson, 23, 1318 Gipson Street; Jeremy Butts, 28, of 1332 Eggert Place; Kevin Thompson 26, of 2915 Dwight Street; Dwayne Cohen, 29, 444 Beach 65th Street; Mark Eugene, 28, 1323 Eggert Place; Junior Cooke, 39, 22-88 Mott Avenue and Allen Sandoval, 22-46 Edgemere Avenue.
Defendants Ramon Terrero and Ramon Maria have been charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance in the first, second and third degree, attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree, conspiracy in the second and fourth degree, criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree and face up to life in prison if convicted.A0 The 16 additional defendants have been variously charged with attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree, criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third and fourth degree, attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first and fourth degree and conspiracy in the second and fourth degree and face up to 15 years to life in prison if convicted.
According to the District Attorney and the Police Commissioner, the defendants are alleged to have repeatedly sold crack cocaine to New York City Police Department undercover police officers including the following instances: defendant Terrero on April 4 and 10, 2003 inside 23-46 Mott Avenue and on May 16, 2003 at the corner of Gipson Street and Cornaga Avenue; - defendant Maria on April 16, 2003 inside 23-46 Mott Avenue, on April 22, 2003 at Mott Avenue and Eggert Place, on May 7, 2003 at a parking lot at 253-01 Rockaway Boulevard and on June 25, 2003 on Mott Avenue and Gipson Street.
On September 3, 2003 a court authorized search warrant was executed by police officers and detectives assigned to the New York City Police Department’s Narcotics Borough Queens inside 1610 Caffrey Avenue, Apartment 5C in Far Rockaway who recovered one and three-quarter ounces plus 3.5 grams of cocaine and over $900 in cash.A0
Brown and Kelly noted that community cooperation is an essential component to ongoing drug enforcement efforts by law enforcement.