2006-02-10 / Columnists

Cops Sweep Dealers From Redfern, Dix McBride

By Brian Magoolaghan

Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown and New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly at One Police Plaza last week.Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown and New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly at One Police Plaza last week.

Police last Thursday arrested 33 alleged drug pushers – including two members of the Bloods street gang – who were part of a rampant narcotics infestation at the Redfern and Dix McBride Houses in Far Rockaway.

The crackdown comes after a seven-month investigation in which undercover Queens Narcotics Division officers engaged in more than 140 separate buys of cocaine – mostly crack – and marijuana. Ten more people have been indicted and are sought by police.

Officers also executed three search warrants and recovered more than 50 hits of crack cocaine, a loaded .357 magnum handgun, marijuana, drug paraphernalia and cash.

Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown and New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly announced the arrests last week at One Police Plaza.

“This was not a well-organized ring but rather an infestation of individual drug peddlers, some of whom worked together,” said Brown. “They mistakenly thought that they were operating under wraps when they allegedly sold their illicit drugs to undercover officers. In fact, they were under investigation and marked for arrest, prosecution and long prison sentences.”

Kelly commended police officers and prosecutors for making the developments safer for more than 2,000 people who live there. He said the alleged dealers “held sway” over the two developments and that violence and shootings were common.

The 33 who were arrested range in age from 16 to 47 years old and live in Far Rockaway or have no known address. Fifteen of them are charged with numerous counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, which carries a sentence of up to 15 years in prison, and criminal sale of marijuana, which carries a sentence of up to one year.

They are:

Theo Allen, 19, of 13-95 Sunnyside Street; Darrell Francis, 17, of 12-70 Redfern Avenue; Durell Gaines, 18, of 12-70 Redfern Avenue; Gail Gantt, 42, of 13-02 Redfern Avenue; Donnell Gravette aka Conrad Bishop, 23, of 14-30 Redfern Avenue; Keith Jones, 21, of 12-70 Redfern Avenue; Gordon McCall, 18, of 22-59 Dix Avenue; Shavar McFadden, 20, of 12-70 Redfern Avenue; Shamiek Patterson, 20, of 20-30 Elk Drive; Rudolph Somra, 16, of 14-15 Chandler Street; Edward Vandross, 19, of 13-20 Redfern Avenue; Jerome Weir, 22, of 14-15 Chandler Street; John Whitmore, 17, of 22-51 Dix Avenue; and Darnell Williams, 27.

Nineteen others, either who live in Far Rockaway or have no known address, were also arrested on various charges: Kareem Buddington, 20, of 14-15 Chandler Street; Richard Carlos; Chandrika Clarke; Donald Francis; Faith Gardner, 22, of 21-08 Nameoke, Davone Gittins, Romeo Gittens, Charles Haines, Kwemawe Johnson, 16, of 13-18 McBride Street; Joyce Memminger, 47, of 12-70 Redfern Avenue; Tawanna Piper; Teri Ann Sancho; Baron Smith, 36, of Redfern Avenue; Samuel Tonga; James Tuffin, 48, of 14-15 Chandler Street; Michael Vanderhorst, 19, of 12-70 Redfern Avenue; James Washington, 22, of 22-51 Dix Avenue; Keith Wilkins; and Tyrone Winslow, 19, of 12-70 Redfern Avenue.

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