Drug Sweep Nets 42 At Hammels
By Brian Magoolaghan
Forty-two alleged drug dealers were arrested at the Hammel Houses recently as investigators wrapped up a four-month investigation during which undercover officers bought crack, cocaine, heroin, oxycodone and marijuana nearly 150 different times, according to Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown.
The pool of defendants ranges in age from 15 to 62 years and includes 14 reputed gang members - five members of the Bloods and nine members of a local gang called GIB, an acronym for Get It In Bricks, according to Brown. Sixteen of them are charged with selling drugs near schools. The District Attorney's list of defendants appears at the end of this story.
The alleged drug-dealing was centered at the Hammels Houses, but the District Attorney said deals were made near St. Rose of Lima, the Christian Academy and the Hammels Childcare Center. Brown said the defendants "have been part of open-air and inside-the-lobby drug markets believed responsible for a number of recent shootings and murders in the area."
Brown said the sweep "struck a significant blow" to GIB, which was formed in 2005. "Using strict and violent discipline they successfully ruled the crack cocaine trade in the Hammels Houses," he said. "Attempts by rival drug dealers to operate in their territory were often met with brutality and gunfire, endangering residents and visitors alike."
Police officers also executed seven search warrants at Hammels and seized two loaded semi-automatic pistols, ammo, a bulletproof vest as well as crack, heroin and marijuana.
The investigation got underway last October after a series of meetings were held between residents of the city housing project, the NYPD and the district attorney's office. The Federal Drug Enforcement Administration and the New York City Housing Authority also participated in the investigation.
Brown said the alleged drug dealers thought they were operating under the law enforcement radar, but "were marked for arrest, prosecution and long prison sentences.
"The result of this joint investigation should bring welcome relief to the many residents of the Hammels Houses and adjoining communities of Rockaway, who have been plagued by illegal drug trafficking in the lobbies and surrounding streets of their homes," said Brown.
The defendants are variously charged with numerous counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, criminal sale of a controlled substance in or near school grounds, criminal sale of marijuana and petit larceny. The criminal sale charges alone carry a sentence of up to nine years in prison.
Individuals who have had evidence presented against them to a grand jury (several indicted individuals are still being sought): Christopher Jones, 21, of 88-03 Rockaway Beach Boulevard; (Alleged GIB member) Troy Hynes, 35, of 17-36 Plainview Avenue; Joseph Nerys, 53, of 360 Beach 85th Street; (Allegedly sold near school) Laura Nerys, 41, of 360 Beach 85th Street; (Allegedly sold near school) Jose Ramirez, 26, of 131 Belmont Avenue in Brooklyn; Lamont Reeves, 21, of 82-03 Rockaway Beach Boulevard; (Alleged GIB member) Jaiquane Edmond, 22, of 85-02 Rockaway Beach Boulevard; (alleged Bloods member) Deborah Butler, 53, of 84-18 Rockaway Beach Boulevard; (Allegedly sold near school) Godreality Way, 28, of 82-03 Rockaway Beach Boulevard; (Alleged GIB member and allegedly sold near school) Dominique Barnes, 20, of 82-03 Rockaway Beach Boulevard; (Alleged GIB member) Adam Groves, 32, of 82-01 Rockaway Beach Boulevard; Anthony Groves, 27, 82-01 Rockaway Beach Boulevard; (Alleged GIB member) Juan Virola, 31, of 1003 Hartman Avenue in Far Rockaway; Victor Carrion, 36, of 1624 Parker Street in the Bronx; Corey Williams, 29, of 311 Beach 85th Street in Far Rockaway; (Alleged GIB member and allegedly sold near school) Marquis Black, 19, of 82-03 Hammels Blvd in Far Rockaway; Malik Miller, 27, of 81-03 Rockaway Beach Boulevard; (Allegedly sold near school) Rhonda Brooks, 44, of 80-02 Rockaway Beach Boulevard; James Ward, 32, of 84-18 Rockaway Beach Boulevard; (Allegedly sold near school) Raleek Brown, 20, of 14-30 Redfern Avenue; Jeffrey Goss, 42, of 85-01 Rockaway Beach Boulevard; (Allegedly sold near school) Cheryl Jones, 44, of 82-03 Rockaway Beach Boulevard; (Allegedly sold near school) Anthony Sansone, 36, of 30-77 14th Street, Astoria.
Additional individuals arrested during a recent two-day police sweep at Hammels: Vernon Shaw, 58, of 84-16 Rockaway Beach Boulevard; (Allegedly sold near school) Cynthia Young, 43, of 82-01 Rockaway Beach Boulevard; Wesley Lee, 17, of 84-14 Rockaway Beach Boulevard; (Alleged Bloods member) Anthony Brown, 48, of 150-29 115th Avenue; (Allegedly sold near school) Daquan Coles, 26, of 80-02 Rockaway Beach Boulevard; Robert Reed, 62, of 82-01 Beach Channel Drive; (Allegedly sold near school) Kim Young, 37, of 84-12 Rockaway Beach Boulevard; Josaleen Blackmon-Vasquez, 84-14 Rockaway Beach Boulevard; Carnell Brooks, 23, of 123 Oak Street, Elmhurst; Larry Shell Jr., 27, of 123 Oak Street, Elmhurst; Connie Cater, 48, of 81-01 Rockaway Beach Boulevard.