DA - 5-YEAR BROOKLYN DRUG PROBE NETS ALMOST 150 INDICTMENTS
Anthony M. Destefano, Newsday Staff Writer
Sat, 27 May 2006
Stamford Advocate, The (CT)
Nearly 150 people, including several major suspected drug dealers, have been indicted after a five-year undercover investigation in the Red Hook public housing development.
The charges were filed against scores of people, including gang members, who police began to arrest as far back as April 28. Two weeks ago, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly unveiled the arrests in "Operation Off The Hook."
At that time, Kelly said, police had arrested 153 suspects and were looking for 52 other alleged dealers.
At a news conference, Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes said the operation began in 2002 and focused on suspected dealing of crack, cocaine, heroin and marijuana in the 32-building development.
Residents applauded the arrests, but said they were cautious about how long the gangs would be neutralized
Because of a divergence in estimates given by officials it was unclear just how large the conspiracy was. In a news release, Hynes said the drug dealing racked up gross sales of $250 million during the five-year investigation, which averages out to $50 million a year.
But on May 10, Kelly said police estimated, after an 18-month probe, that the gangs pulled in $12 million a year.
Hynes didn't elaborate about how his estimate was reached, but a chart presented at the news conference tallied precise amounts of drug vials and bags totaling $154,000 sold during a one-day period. A Hynes spokesman said the estimate came from interviews with defendants and past investigations.
An NYPD spokesman wasn't able to provide a basis for the lower police estimate.