EAST HARLEM — Members of an East Harlem gang were indicted Thursday for selling cocaine in and around a public housing complex after two months-long investigations, according to police and the Manhattan District Attorney's office.
Twelve members of the Deadgang, which is based in the Wagner Houses complex in East Harlem between FDR Drive and Second Ave from E. 120th to E. 124th Streets, were charged with selling cocaine starting in November 2015, the Manhattan district attorney’s office said.
They were each charged with one count of conspiracy to sell cocaine and 28 counts jointly of selling cocaine.
The Deadgang defendants — whose ages range from 16 to 19 — waited for buyers in front of businesses located adjacent to the public housing complex or in a central area within the complex, according to officials.
They allegedly made multiple sales to undercover detectives over the course of the six-month investigation, which was a joint operation of the District Attorney’s Violent Criminal Enterprises Unit, which was formed to prosecute violent organized street crime, and the NYPD’s Narcotics Borough Manhattan North.
Defendants negotiated with buyers outside and then went inside the building to conduct sales, officials said.
“Residents should not have to worry about illegal drug sales taking place in broad daylight in their building or courtyard,” said Manhattan DA Cyrus R. Vance, Jr.
“These indictments are the latest efforts by my office and the NYPD to root out individuals who drive crime in our city’s public housing complexes and to bring relief to neighborhoods disproportionately affected by crime.”
The undercover operation also found eight heroin and cocaine dealers — aged 19 to 54 — according to the indictment. They were unaffiliated with Deadgang but also operated within the Wagner Houses.
A 10-month investigation, beginning in July 2015, found that the eight separate defendants allegedly sold heroin and cocaine in the public housing complex. Each defendant is charged with making at least one sale to an undercover detective.