LOWER EAST SIDE — Police have arrested and charged a man in the fatal shooting of 22-year-old Michael Rodriguez, also known as “Coke Wave,” who was gunned down in the Lillian Wald Houses on June 3.
Terence Pugh, 24, was formally arrested and charged in connection with the murder on June 20, days after first being apprehended on drug-related charges during a larger takedown of a group of narcotics dealers, according to police and court papers.
Pugh was first arrested at approximately 6 p.m. on June 6 near Bowery and Broome Street as part of a three-day takedown that netted a total of nine individuals after a months-long operation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office called “Operation D Block,” according to a law enforcement source.
The investigation was sparked by a rash of shootings plaguing Alphabet City, according to the source. Seven of the arrests took place at the Riis Houses and the Lillian D. Wald Houses, both in Alphabet City, while two occurred in the Bronx, the source said.
Pugh — whose brother, Jamie Pugh, was last year convicted of brutally murdering a 68-year-old grandfather in the East Village — first sold cocaine to an undercover officer in December of 2015, a source said.
Police subsequently monitored calls between Pugh and other suspects during a months-long wiretapping operation during which they heard Terence Pugh confess to killing Rodriguez, according to a source.
Pugh was initially indicted on several counts of burglary, criminal possession and criminal sale of a controlled substance after the operation revealed he was selling crack cocaine, court papers show. Pugh was in possession of the murder weapon during his initial arrest, according to the source.
Pugh’s mother, Charlotte Pugh, was among others arrested. She had worked alongside her son dealing Percocet, according to court papers, and was charged with conspiracy in the fourth degree.
Terence Pugh is due back in court on June 24.
Pugh’s lawyer did not immediately return a request for comment.