Authorities recently arrested several people whom the police say were selling drugs in what was described as a “quiet” neighborhood in upper Manhattan. Although the police arrested 21 people and brought them before a local judge, 11 other suspects reportedly remained at large. It is not clear whether additional arrests have been made.
The judge conducting the initial hearing entered not guilty pleas on behalf of those detained and ordered them to be remanded into custody without the possibility of bail. The group faces conspiracy and other allegations of committing drug crimes. The alleged leaders of the group face the possibility of between 25 years and a lifetime in prison, if convicted.
The group is accused of running a 24-hour crack cocaine dealing operation within a three-block radius in an area neighborhood. Police claims they have evidence of over 100 transactions and say that they managed to conduct several undercover sales in which a member of the group sold drugs to a plain-clothes officer. Wiretaps were also used in connection with this case.
It is important to remember in any case like this that there will be two sides to the story. One of the key questions in dealing with large groups of suspects is finding out exactly who knew and did what, and why they did it. Many times, those questions can mean the difference between criminal conspiracy and simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Furthermore, police are subject to strict state and federal laws and constitutional provisions when they conduct drug investigations. The defendants will want to review the case carefully to verify that the police in all aspects conducted a legal and constitutional investigation.Drug charges, particularly ones involving sale and distribution, are always serious and can carry with them serious or, as in this case, life-long consequences.
Source: New York Post, “Cops take down 32-member drug ring in massive bust,” Priscilla DeGregory, Jan. 4, 2017