2007-10-05 / Front Page

Cops Bust 50 In Far Rockaway For Drug Sales

By Howard Schwach

Dozens of police officers from the Queens Narcotics Unit, the 101 Precinct, the Warrant Squad and Patrol Borough Queens South Command spread out all over the area centering on the Redfern Houses and the Dix-McBride Houses looking for local men and women who were wanted for selling crack cocaine on hundreds of occasions to Rockaway and Nassau County residents.

Judge Richard Brown, the District Attorney for Queens County, with some of his new assistants at a recent press conference. Judge Richard Brown, the District Attorney for Queens County, with some of his new assistants at a recent press conference. While the particulars of the arrests and the names of those arrested will not be released until late on Friday, October 5, a spokesperson for Queens District Attorney Richard Brown told The Wave on Thursday afternoon that the arrests were the result of a ninemonth investigation jointly conducted by the District Attorney's Office and the New York City Police Department that concluded on Wednesday, October 3, with more than 50 individuals being charged with selling drugs on hundreds of occasions in and around the New York City Housing Authority's Redfern Houses and the privately owned Dix-McBride Apartments, both in Far Rockaway. The vast majority of the defendants are being charged with third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, a Class B felony punishable by up to nine years in prison, for selling both crack cocaine and powdered cocaine.

Brown's spokesperson said that, in announcing the charges on Friday, Brown would issue the following statement:

"This case is important for a number of reasons.

"Firstly, it is another example of the Wave Office Closed Monday

The Wave office will be closed on Monday, October 8 for the observance of Columbus Day. All deadlines, both advertising and editorial, remain the same for the October 12 issue. The Wave wishes all of our readers and advertisers a healthy and happy Columbus Day. partnership that exists in this City between the police and prosecutors - and how it is that that partnership can result in the takedown of major criminal enterprises - in this instance a loosely knit criminal enterprise operating out of the Dix- McBride and the Redfern Houses in Far Rockaway.

"But, more importantly, it is a clear indication of our continuing commitment to make certain that the drug trafficking and drug-related violence in the Far Rockaway section of Queens County - indeed, across this entire City - is permanently ended.

"A year ago last February, Commissioner Kelly and I announced the indictment of two dozen individuals - and the summary arrest of a number of others - on charges similar to those being brought today in connection with drug dealing and drug-related violence - at the Redfern and Dix-McBride houses. We said at that time that those indictments - and those arrests - should serve as a warning to those who deal drugs that the law enforcement community will continue to aggressively track them down and seek to put them in jail for long periods of time.

"When earlier this year the drug dealing and the violence surrounding it began to spring up again, we once again began to make the undercover drug buys and conduct the surveillance that has allowed us to indict and arrest those involved.

"And once again, today, we issue a clear and unequivocal warning that we will continue to aggressively track down those who traffic in drugs and engage in drug-related violence and that we will continue to work together with our law enforcement colleagues and our elected public officials and community leaders to keep the residents - and particularly the children - of Far Rockaway safe and help to provide them with a better quality of life.

"We will not, under any circumstances, tolerate drug dealing and drug-related violence in our housing developments - or any place else. And when it does occur, we will be there to stop it."

This major drug bust follows another made on Thursday, September 20, when police hit the area surrounding the Hammel Houses on Beach 84 Street. In that sweep, 34 members of the "Bloods" gang were arrested and charged with gun and drug offenses.

More information on this week's arrests will be reported in The Wave's October 12 edition.

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