QUEENS — A ring of drug and weapon dealers in the Astoria Housing Development were arrested after a year-long undercover investigation by the NYPD, the Queens District Attorney’s office announced Friday.
The District Attorney’s office began working with the NYPD’s Queens Narcotics Division in September 2015 to investigate drug-related crime in the Astoria Houses, a 22-building development on the East River near Eighth Street and Astoria Boulevard, according to the DA’s office.
The investigation culminated in the arrest of 12 people who sold crack, cocaine, heroin, ecstasy and guns to undercover police officers 98 times in the past year, the DA’s office said.
Ten of the 12 suspects face up to nine years in prison for the felony charge of criminal sale of a controlled substance and two suspects face one year in prison for the criminal sale of marijuana, according to the DA.
Defendants Raekwon Ingram, 19, and Hassan White, 20, are allegedly members of the G-Squad gang and Terrence Robinson, 26, is purported to be a Kings of Queens gang member.
Other defendants are Astoria residents Kassim Caballero, 46, John Ellerbe, 49, Rick Humphrey, 55, Donald Johnson, 35, Justin Munoz, 18, Davonta Parham, 24, Paul Robinson, 28, Vianca Thapa, 49, and Michael Wilson, 63, according to the DA.
NYPD Police Commissioner Bill Bratton commented on the sting operation in a statement.
“Illegal narcotics and firearms serve only to fuel violence,” said Bratton. “The NYPD remains firmly committed to protecting communities such as the Astoria Houses and holding responsible those who engage in drug and gun trafficking.”