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Cops bust 12 alleged drug peddlers at Astoria Houses, after year-long investigation

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Sept. 12, 2016 By Hannah Wulkan

Twelve alleged drug peddlers have been arrested for selling narcotics and firearms to undercover police officers following a yearlong undercover anti-drug operation at Astoria Houses, announced Queens District Attorney Richard Brown Friday.

The NYPD Queens Narcotics Division launched the investigation last September in a joint effort with District Attorney Brown’s Narcotics Division at Astoria Houses, a public housing complex located at 4-25 Astoria Boulevard that has long been a hotbed for crime.

Over the course of the year undercover officers purchased narcotics, marijuana and firearms on nearly 100 separate occasions, and the operation resulted in the arrest of 12 people, three of whom are allegedly gang members of ‘Kings of Queens’ and ‘G-Squad.’

“The Astoria Houses takedown is just the latest result of a coordinated law enforcement and prosecutorial anti-drug initiative that began soon after I took office more than twenty-five years ago,” Brown said in a statement. “Since that time, we have targeted hundreds of drug dealers operating in and around public housing developments throughout Queens and have put a significant dent in the drug trafficking which has long troubled the residents of these developments.”

Brown said that throughout the investigation, undercover officers allegedly made 98 buys for cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, MDMA, marijuana and other drugs, in addition to firearms.

The defendants in the case have all been charged with an array of crimes including first-, second- and third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, third- and fourth-degree criminal sale of marijuana, third-degree criminal sale of a firearm, second- and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, criminal possession of a weapon, fourth-degree grand larceny, possession of a gambling device, second-degree promoting gambling and fourth-degree criminal facilitation.

“Illegal narcotics and firearms serve only to fuel violence. The NYPD remains firmly committed to protecting communities such as the Astoria Houses and holding responsible those who engage in drug and gun trafficking,” said Police Commissioner William Bratton.

The 12 suspects who were arrested are currently awaiting arraignment.

Those arrested in the bust and their charges are:

  • Kassim Caballero, 46, of Astoria, Queens, is charged with third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, a Class B felony punishable by up to nine years in prison.
  • John Ellerbe, 49,  of Astoria, Queens, is charged with third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, a Class B felony punishable by up to nine years in prison.
  • Rick Humphrey, 55, of Astoria, Queens, is charged with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a Class C felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison, third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, a Class B felony punishable by up to nine years in prison, third-degree criminal sale of a firearm and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, both of which are Class D felonies punishable by up to seven years in prison, and criminal possession of a firearm, a Class E felony punishable by up to four years in prison.
  • Raekwon Ingram, 19, of Astoria, Queens, is charged with third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, a Class B felony punishable by up to nine years in prison and fourth-degree criminal sale of marijuana, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.
  • Donald Johnson, 35, of Astoria, Queens, is charged with fourth-degree criminal sale of marijuana, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.
  • Justin Munoz, 18, of Astoria, Queens, is charged with third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, a Class B felony punishable by up to nine years in prison.
  • Davonta Parham, 24, of Astoria, Queens, is charged with fourth-degree criminal sale of marijuana, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.
  • Paul Robinson, 28, of Astoria, Queens, is charged with third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, a Class B felony punishable by up to nine years in prison and unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation punishable by a fine of up to $100.
  • Terrence Robinson, 26, of Astoria, Queens, is charged with third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, a Class B felony punishable by up to nine years in prison and fourth-degree criminal sale of marijuana, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.
  • Vianca Thapa, 49,  of Astoria, Queens, is charged with third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, a Class B felony punishable by up to nine years in prison.

 

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7 Comments

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dozzy

Does this mean more rental units will become available? Saw this story on NY! and residents where complaining..about the cops and the Mayor! not the people who were arrested lol

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Liberty

“Illegal narcotics and firearms serve only to fuel violence” is completely wrong. What is this 1921 Prohibition? The reason why narcotics and firearms are violent a violent business is because it turned into a black market after being declared illegal by the gov’t.

If you’re free to read of book to fill your mind, free to worship a religion to fill your hearts, why must the fed gov’t step in to determine what to put in your bodies?

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PUTEMALLONTHEMOON

LOOKS LIKE CURTIS WESTS FAMILY WILL BE “GOING AWAY” FOR A LITTLE WHILE , WHAT A SHAME , HEY , AT LEAST THEYLL BE GETTING THAT FREE HOUSING YOUVE BEEN COMPLAINING ABOUT ……..

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joey_astoriani

Unfortunately, due to the drugs and the gangs, that part of Astoria is really scary.

Thanks to the NYPD for trying to put a small dent in this problem.

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