Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown, joined by Police Commissioner William J. Bratton, today announced that a year-long anti-drug initiative at the New York City Housing Authority’s Astoria Houses has resulted in a dozen alleged drug peddlers – including three purported gang members – being charged with selling drugs and weapons to undercover police officers. More arrests are expected as part of the investigation. The investigation revealed that the defendants in custody and other individuals allegedly sold heroin, crack, cocaine and other drugs to undercover police officers on nearly one hundred separate occasions since September 2015. Three of the eleven defendants arrested are also charged with separately selling a firearm to an undercover officer. District Attorney Brown said, “The Astoria Houses takedown is just the latest result of a coordinated law enforcement and prosecutorial anti-drug initiative that began soon after I took office more than twenty-five years ago. Since that time, we have targeted hundreds of drug dealers operating in and around public housing developments throughout Queens and have put a significant dent in the drug trafficking which has long troubled the residents of these developments. We will continue to work together with our police officers and our elected officials and community leaders to keep our citizens safe.”
The defendants are variously charged with the crimes of first-, second- and third-degree
criminal sale of a controlled substance, third- and fourth-degree criminal sale of marihuana, third degree criminal sale of a firearm, second- and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, criminal
possession of a weapon, fourth-degree grand larceny, possession of a gambling device, second degree
promoting gambling and fourth-degree criminal facilitation.
Likely, suppression issues raised during the pre-trial hearings in these matters will be the cornerstone of any effective defense strategy. Hearings regarding police procedure in obtaining and executing search warrants will determine the degree to which police violated the rights of the accused. Mr. Jeff Davis is an experienced trial attorney who has handled thousands of cases involving controlled substances, narcotics sales and weapons possessions. Mr. Davis is ready to speak to you now and can be contacted at (917) 826-5150.