2012-01-20 / Top Stories

Queens Narcotics Busts Heroin Drug Ring

By Nicholas Briano

Queens narcotics detectives announced the dismantling of a heroin drug ring, resulting in more than 120 arrests since November 2010, including the arrest of the kingpin’s cousin in Arverne as he was traveling through Rockaway to drop off a loaded assault rifle, according to Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown.

In addition to dealing heroin, the leader of the drug ring, Jamal Broadhurst, 30, of Astoria, arranged last November for Kenneth Kirkland, 25, to store an assault rifle at his parents’ Arverne home.

Broadhurst arranged for his associate, Shandell Crabb, to bring the rifle to the Beach 60 Street home. When in Rockaway, Crabb got lost and asked Kirkland’s father to meet him near the Beach 60 Street train station. Shortly thereafter, police stopped the Honda Odyssey minivan and allegedly found Crabb and Kirkland’s father, Marcos Feliciano, in the car with a Norinco semi-automatic MAK-90 assault rifle, along with ten magazines. Both were arrested.

Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown, joined by Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, made the announcement this week that most of the 121 defendants arrested on drug possession charges resided in Suffolk and Nassau Counties and allegedly commuted into New York City to buy heroin and other drugs from the New York City-based drug ring. Broadhurst and seven others helping operate the ring were arrested this week to officially dismantle it and end the 15-month investigation.

Over the course of the investigaton, officers seized more than 8,000 glassine envelopes of heroin, more than five kilograms of heroin, 2.7 kilograms of cocaine and five pistols (four of them loaded), a shotgun and an assault rifle. In addition to the arrests this week, officers executed three court-authorized search warrants and allegedly recovered heroin inside a grinder, scales, packaging, a loaded semi-automatic pistol, as well as various quantities of heroin, hydrocodone, cyclobenzene, cocaine, ecstasy and marijuana.

The Queens Narcotics Division and the Queens DA Narcotics Investigation Bureau commenced a long-term investigation in November 2010 of a controlled substance organization allegedly being run by Broadhurst, which, according to the criminal charges, was selling heroin and other narcotic drugs in Queens County and elsewhere in New York State. It’s alleged that, in monitoring ten different telephones utilized by Broadhurst through court-authorized wiretaps, investigators learned that the defendant arranged hundreds of controlled substance transactions by directing customers to various locations in Queens County. It’s additionally alleged that in one sales transaction, an undercover officer called one of Broadhurst’s telephone numbers on November 2, 2010, and asked to purchase heroin. Broadhurst allegedly called the undercover officer back and, in agreeing to sell him heroin, directed the officer to a Best Western hotel located at 33-17 Greenpoint Avenue in Queens. At approximately 7:30 p.m. that night, the undercover allegedly went to the loca- tion, met with defendant Kirkland and arranged to purchase three bundles for $200. Kirkland is alleged to have gone into the hotel and exited a short time later, giving 30 glassine envelopes containing heroin to the undercover in exchange for $200 in cash. Kirkland then allegedly gave the undercover his phone number so that he could be reached directly.

Similarly, it is charged that an undercover officer text messaged Broadhurst and attempted to arrange the purchase of a quantity of heroin.

Broadhurst allegedly called the undercover officer back and they arranged for the sale of 600 glassine envelopes of heroin. It’s alleged that the officer was directed by Broadhurst to meet him at a Subway restaurant at 51-22 Northern Boulevard in Queens.

Once the officer was at the restaurant, defendants Kirkland and Melissa Franqui entered the restaurant. Franqui allegedly sat at a table and Kirkland allegedly left a Hennessy cognac box in front of her while he walked toward the restroom. After a short while, it is alleged that Kirkland returned, retrieved the cognac box from the table and handed the undercover officer the box, which contained a total of 600 glassine envelopes of heroin, in exchange for $2,400 in cash. In two other cases, defendants Patrick Fortune and Esteban Bello are each charged with conspiring with Broadhurst between November 2, 2010, and January 11, 2012, to sell narcotic drugs to various customers at different locations in Queens County and elsewhere. In carrying out their conspiracy, Fortune and Bello each allegedly answered telephone calls from customers, directed them to particular locations, warned associates of attempts by other parties to encroach on their business, as well as discussed efforts to avoid prosecution, sold narcotics and received money from customers.

“The main defendants are accused of operating as a tightly knit ring that catered almost exclusively to drug buyers from the eastern end of Long Island, virtually turning the Long Island Expressway into the ‘Heroin Highway.’

In carrying out drug sales,” District Attorney Brown said in a statement, “it is alleged that customers, including 90 from Suffolk County and 15 from Nassau County who were arrested in the investigation, would call the main dealer, drive into New York City and meet the dealer’s runners at various locations in the city – including hotels, restaurants, diners, electronics stores and even a 99-cent store – in an effort to thwart surveillance.

However, unbeknownst to them, they, in fact, were under investigation by my office and the New York City Police Department and being marked for arrest, prosecution and prison sentences.”

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