Bleecker Street Drug Dealing On the Rise, Police Say
GREENWICH VILLAGE — Police are trying to make drug dealing in the Village go up in smoke.
Sixth Precinct cops have seen an uptick in drug sales on Bleecker Street since the summer and are putting more uniformed and plainclothes officers on the street to confront the problem, they said at a recent community meeting.
"It's something we're conducting enforcement on," said the precinct's commanding officer, Deputy Inspector Brandon del Pozo.
The precinct has arrested about five people, both dealers and buyers, in the area each weekend for the past month for sales and attempted sales of marijuana and cocaine, police said, declining to provide additional arrest statistics.
The crackdown — which focuses on the three blocks of Bleecker Street between MacDougal Street and LaGuardia Place — may also be preventing unwitting tourists from buying phony drugs, del Pozo said.
"To see an Australian tourist put baking soda up his nose is something someone should see at least once in their life," he said.
Many of the dealers on the strip have been jailed multiple times and return once they are sprung from jail, the deputy inspector added.
"That's built into their business model."
Police said the Bleecker Street situation is unusual, because the majority of drug deals in Manhattan occur via home deliveries south of 59th Street.
"What's different about Bleecker is they have at 2, 3, 4 in the morning drug deals going on," del Pozo said.
The precinct is also dealing with an uptick in grand larcenies related to thefts of cash and electronics from unattended property in the nightlife-rich neighborhood.