By Carla Zanoni
WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — A gang of heroin and cocaine dealers who ruled a Washington Heights block and were known as the "Old Timers" were busted Tuesday night by the NYPD’s Manhattan North Narcotics Bureau, officials said.
A 10-month wiretap investigation called "Operation Domino Effect" ended in the arrest of eight men and the seizure of two pounds of cocaine, one pound of heroin, two loaded handguns and drug packaging equipment, police said.
The drug crew moved more than $1.2 million this year, police estimated based on evidence the gang moved at least one kilo of drugs per week.
The men are accused of selling bulk quantities of cocaine and heroin to distributors in New York City and aong the eastern seaboard, from Boston to Philadelphia, and were regularly seen playing dominos on West 160th Street, between Fort Washington Avenue and Broadway, keeping watch over their territory, police said.
The ring’s alleged leader Pedro Guzman Damiani is also accused of accepting payment from other drug organizations to repackage their loads of cocaine and heroin at his home at 75 Fort Washington Ave.
When police busted his apartment Tuesday night, they confiscated half a pound of cocaine, fingers of heroin and two loaded handguns from his home.
Damiani and the seven other defendants are expected to be arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court Wednesday.