Nineteen men from two separate gangs in Harlem have been indicted for allegedly possessing and selling crack cocaine, the district attorney’s office said Thursday.
“Today, we effectively closed an open-air drug market in East Harlem,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., said in a statement. This is the seventh indictment related to illegal drugs in 18 months.
The defendants, from two loosely organized gangs (20 BLOCC and Flow Boyz), were charged with conspiracy in the second degree (a class B felony), and 12 of the men were charged with the criminal sale of controlled substance in the third degree (a class B felony). The charges follow an investigation by the DA’s office and the Manhattan North Narcotics Bureau.
The DA’s office said, “Undercover police officers purchased crack cocaine from various defendants on more than two dozen occasions,” and other drug sales charged in the indictment were caught on surveillance camera.
Vance said the defendants “dealt crack cocaine on sidewalks, playgrounds, in residential buildings, stairwells, lobbies, and even in front of a community center.”
The DA’s office will host a meeting Monday in the Wagner Houses Community Center, where one of the defendants was accused of preparing crack cocaine, so residents can learn more about ongoing crime prevention efforts, and programs to keep neighborhood youth engaged.
The 19 indicted men are all between 18 and 28 years old.
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