62 arrested in massive drug bust in Queens

February 17, 2011 9:34:10 AM PST
Dozens of people were arrested in a major narcotics bust at a city housing project in Queens Thursday morning.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown and NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly announced the indictment of 14 people and the arrest of 48 others as part of a large-scale undercover narcotics investigation at the Baisley Park Housing Development and Rochdale Village in Jamaica.

The suspects, who range in age from 16 to 62, are charged with selling powdered and crack cocaine, heroin, marijuana, oxycodone, ecstasy and BZP to undercover police officers on hundreds of separate occasions over a 6-month period in and around the housing complexes.

Ten of the defendants are also charged with selling drugs within a drug-free school zone.

"The vast majority of the residents of these two housing complexes are decent, hard-working citizens who have been virtually held hostage by the gangster lifestyle of a relatively few individuals," Brown said. "These arrests...should serve as a warning to both drug dealers and violent criminals alike that the law enforcement community...will continue to aggressively track down those individuals who traffic in drugs."

Prosecutors say the investigation began in August 2010, when detectives assigned to the NYPD's Queens Narcotics Division received information that drug dealers were engaged in operations around the housing complexes.

During the course of the investigation, undercover officers allegedly purchased narcotics, controlled substances and marijuana on hundreds of separate occasions, including 33 sales within 1,000 feet of P.S. 72

In addition to the arrests, officers executed 14 court-authorized search warrants and allegedly seized a total of 60 pounds of marijuana, more than four ounces of cocaine and other narcotics, approximately $30,000 in cash and seven weapons. In addition, six vehicles were seized for forfeiture.