26 arrested in an alleged drug ring

March 18, 2009 3:38:49 PM PDT
This Balkin criminal enterprise largely worked out of New Jersey and New York dealing in variety of crimes, investigators said. Federal authorities have charged 26 people with operating the international narcotics ring that also trafficked in steroids, untaxed cigarettes and counterfeit sneakers.

"They were like a kind of crimes-r-us type of operation in that they engaged in a variety of crimes," said Weysun Dun, special agent in charge.

Three suspects are still fugitives wanted by the FBI.

"We have seized two airplanes. We seized four bank accounts. We have seized 400-thousand dollars in cash. We have also seized two vehicles," Dun said.

One of those planes was seized at the Lincoln Park Airport.

As agents began seizing the group's property, several members of the group were arrested at the same time.

The planes were used to transport drugs. Investigators say they used an airport in Ocean City, New Jersey to allegedly deliver what was believed to be 10 kilograms of cocaine from Miami.

While giving few specifics, the FBI did reveal the Living Room Steakhouse in Brooklyn would sometimes be the site of many of the group's meetings, including an alleged transaction for a large supply of ecstasy.

While based in New Jersey and New York, the group's tentacles also reached into Europe and six other countries where they allegedly dealt with other criminals, investigators said.

"It really illustrates how local crime can be global," Dun said.

The FBI said the group had links to criminal enterprises in Albania, Macedonia, Kosovo, Serbia and Canada as well as other cities in the U.S.


NEW YORK AND TRI-STATE AREA NEWS

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