12 Arrested in Crown Heights Crack Ring Bust, DA Says
CROWN HEIGHTS — A dozen crack cocaine dealers who peddled their wares within a block of a school were arrested this week in Crown Heights following a yearlong sting operation, officials announced Thursday.
Undercover officers bought cocaine, heroin and alprazolam, the generic form of Xanax, from the dealers 120 times between January 2013 and 2014, according to a statement by the Kings County District Attorney's Office. The local drug crew, which called itself "Sterling World," allegedly sold drugs in the lobbies and walkways along Sterling Place between Utica and Rochester avenues, near M.S. 394, a middle school.
"The NYPD initiated a yearlong investigation that dismantled a drug dealing network that peddled crack cocaine less than a block from a middle school and instilled fear in local residents in and around the Sterling community," Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said in a press release Thursday.
"The joint efforts of the investigators from Narcotics Borough Brooklyn North, 77th Precinct and the Kings County District Attorney’s Office ended this drug operation and the intimidation it exercised over the local neighborhood.”
Roberto Arroyo, Rosetta Cochran, Rasheen Ellerbe, Keith Green, Michael Henningham, Ross Julien, Corey Jones, Keith Jones, Robert St. Hilaire, Edwin Ortero, Clarence Sutton and Jarrius Vereen were arrested Wednesday and face charges including sale of a controlled substance in or near a school, which is a felony.
Search warrants executed Wednesday uncovered firearms and additional drugs, police said.
All 12 were expected to be arraigned in Kings County Criminal Court on Thursday. Information about the defendants' lawyers was not immediately available.