Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Diego Rodriguez, Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and William J. Bratton, the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), announced the unsealing today of an Indictment charging 20 defendants with participating in a conspiracy to distribute large quantities of heroin and crack cocaine in the vicinity of Hoe Avenue and Aldus Street in the Bronx. Six of the 20 defendants were also charged with possessing firearms in furtherance of the narcotics trafficking conspiracy. Several of the defendants charged in the Indictment were involved in a recent shooting in which a member of the conspiracy used a handgun to fire shots at two individuals – who luckily were not struck by the gunfire – in front of an apartment building on Aldus Street. Fifteen of the defendants named in the Indictment are in federal custody and are expected to be arraigned in Manhattan federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Henry Pitman. Fourteen of those defendants were taken into federal custody today, and one was already in federal custody on a separate criminal case pending in Manhattan federal court.
“There is no place in our communities for narcotics trafficking and the violence associated with this criminal enterprise,” said Police Commissioner Bratton. “I would like to commend the NYPD investigators, the agents of the FBI, and the prosecutors of the U.S. Attorney’s Office whose work in this investigation brought these individuals to justice.”
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “As alleged, the twenty defendants charged today were part of a dangerous drug trafficking crew that terrorized a Bronx neighborhood by peddling heroin and crack cocaine in apartment buildings with families and children, just a block from a public school. As the indictment alleges, this crew protected its turf with guns, not afraid to shoot at people in front of a Bronx apartment building, as one of the defendants is alleged to have done in May. Thanks to the outstanding work of the FBI and the NYPD, the residents of that Bronx neighborhood are safer today.”
Read more from the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District [HERE].