2010-03-12 / Top Stories

DA Names Defendants In Hammel Drug Busts

By Howard Schwach

Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown has announced the indictment of twelve individuals and the filing of criminal charges against thirty-three others on drug-related charges following an eight-month undercover investigation at the Hammel Houses, a New York City Housing Authority complex.

All of the arrests came as a result of a drug sweep through the housing complex early on the morning of March 3.

The defendants – who range in age from 17 to 62 and include five alleged members of the Bloods, Crips and GIB gangbangers – are charged with selling crack and powdered cocaine, heroin, marijuana and other controlled substances to undercover police officers on 118 separate occasions over an eight-month period in and around the Hammel Houses.

The March 3 drug sweep was led by Deputy Inspector Thomas Barrett, the commanding officer of the 100 Precinct in Rockaway Beach, assisted by several other specialized NYPD units.

Brown said, “This initiative is yet another step in our continuing campaign to stop drug-dealing and drugbased violence in Far Rockaway. These arrests underscore our commitment to improve the quality of life for the residents of the Hammel Houses. The result of this joint investigation should be a welcome relief to the many residents of the Hammel Houses, who have been plagued with illegal drug trafficking near their homes and schools and should go a long way to improving the quality of the life of the residents of Far Rockaway.”

Sources say that the investigation began in July 2009 when detectives assigned to the NYPD’s Queens Narcotics Division received information regarding drug dealing and drug-related violence around the Hammel Houses.

In response, the NYPD’s Queens Narcotics Division and District Attorney Brown’s Narcotics Investigation Bureau dispatched numerous undercover officers to purchase crack and powdered cocaine, heroin and marijuana. During the course of the investigation, undercover officers purchased narcotics and marihuana on 118 separate occasions.

Police sources said that undercover officers made 174 drug buys, seizing 41 bags of crack, 303 bags of marijuana plus smaller quantities of heroin and Oxycontin.

Brown added that the alleged sales occurred near P.S. 183/ Dr. Richard D. Green School on Beach 79 Street.

The Hammel Houses are part of the New York City Housing Authority’s network of housing developments and consist of fourteen buildings, six-and seven-stories tall, in which nearly 1,900 people reside in 712 apartments. The nearly fifteen-acre complex was completed in 1955 and is bordered on the east and west by Beach 81 and Beach 86 Streets and Hammel and Rockaway Beach Boulevards on the north and south. It is among the older public housing developments in New York City.

Under the City’s Trespass Notice Program, non-resident suspects arrested for drug dealing on public housing grounds receive a notice informing them that they are banned from New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) property anywhere in the City and will be arrested if they return.

If the suspected drug dealer is a resident of the development he will be targeted for eviction.

Captain Thomas Marren, the commanding officer of Queens Narcotics, told Daily News reporter Rocco Parascandola that his unit would turn their eye on Carleton Manor, a single-building public housing unit on Beach 72 Street, where he thinks that drug dealers will now set up shop.

Sources say that at least ten of those arrested in the drug sweep were also busted in a similar sweep of the Hammel Houses in 2008, pointing out how difficult it is to keep the dealers out of the public housing complexes that dot the peninsula.

In addition to the arrests made last week, officers executed ten courtauthorized search warrants and recovered various quantities of powdered and crack cocaine, marijuana and heroin, as well drug paraphernalia, ammunition and U.S. currency.

The defendants are variously charged with numerous counts of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and criminal sale of controlled substances on or near school grounds, which are Class B felonies, each punishable by up to nine years in prison; fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, which is a Class D felony, punishable by up to two and a half years in prison, fourth-degree criminal sale of marijuana, seventhdegree criminal possession of a controlled substance, attempted tampering with physical evidence, unlawful possession of marijuana, resisting arrest, fourth-degree criminal possession of marijuana and fourth-degree criminal facilitation, which are Class A misdemeanors, each punishable by up to one year in jail and fifth-degree criminal sale of marijuana, which is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to ninety days in jail.

The following 12 locals were indicted in Queens Criminal Court on Wednesday, March 4: Connie Cater, 51, of 81- 01 Beach Channel Drive; David Garcia, 38, of 92-15 DeSoto Road; Tommy Hymes, 32, of 81-04 Rockaway Beach Boulevard; Guillermo Martel, 49, of 81-05 Rockaway Beach Boulevard; Willie McNeal, 52, of 260 Beach 81 Street; Teofilo Ramos, 51, of 82-01 Beach Channel Drive; Edwin Salgado, 53, of 82-01 Beach Channel Drive; Jaime Delgado, 34, of 82-01 Beach Channel Drive; Miguel Vargas, 25, of 309 Beach 88 Street; Kevin Washington, 43, of 81-10 Rockaway Beach Boulevard (alleged Bloods member); Shamecca Way, 30, of 84-18 Rockaway Beach Boulevard (alleged Bloods member) and Columbus Wooden, 33, of 84-14 Beach Channel Drive.

The following 33 locals received criminal court complaints: Gerald Brodie, 48, of 57-27 Arverne Boulevard; Quinna Calloway, 17, of 84-14 Beach Channel Drive; Shamar Calloway, 23, of 84-14 Beach Channel Drive; Yvonne Calloway, 39, of 84-14 Beach Channel Drive; Randy Cater, 49, of 82-01 Beach Channel Drive; Maurice Charley, 21, of 81-05 Hammels Boulevard; Chris Cruz, 19, of 81- 05 Hammels Boulevard; Derrell Daniels, 20, of 82-02 Rockaway Beach Boulevard (alleged GIB member); Barbara Dickerson, 46 of 81-05 Hammels Boulevard; Desiree Dickerson, 48 of 81-05 Hammels Boulevard; Shaborn Dickerson, 30, of 81-05 Hammels Boulevard; Nelson Durant, 40, of 81- 03 Beach Channel Drive; Shanova Fuller, 31, of 81-05 Hammels Boulevard; Lawson Harper, 20, of 81-05 Hammels Boulevard; Derrick Holland, 18, of 330 Beach 86 Street; Derrick Holland, Sr., 36, of 330 Beach 86 Street; Georgieanna Johnson, 34, of 330 Beach 86 Street; Mario Lopez, 34, of 82-01 Beach Channel Drive; Kareem Malloy, 27, of 445 Beach 51 Street (alleged Outlaw Bloods member); Steven Moses, 39, of 122 Beach 93 Street; Rhonda Overstreet, 46, of 81-05 Hammels Boulevard; Katrina Redish, 36, of 84-18 Rockaway Beach Boulevard; Ronald Rivers, 21, of 57-27 Arverne Boulevard; Tonya Rivers, 39, of 57-27 Arverne Boulevard; Aretha Rushing, 48, of 82-03 Beach Channel Drive; Jamal Rushing, 31, of 82-01 Beach Channel Drive; Alton Scarbrough, 31, of 82-02 Rockaway Beach Boulevard; Rahmel Smith, 20, 84-10 Rockaway Beach Boulevard (alleged GIB member); Donald Spellman, 19, of 81-10 Rockaway Beach Boulevard; Sal Vanuto, 35, 76-16 Aquatic Drive in Arverne; James Ward, 35, of 84-18 Rockaway Beach Boulevard; Donnell Wimms, 40, of 84-14 Rockaway Beach Boulevard; and Tiffany Wimms, 29, 84-14 Rockaway Beach Boulevard.

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