Twenty-Four Arrested On Charges of Drug Trafficking and Firearms Possession In Area of Bronx River Houses
MAY 21 -- MICHAEL J. GARCIA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, RAYMOND W. KELLY, the Police Commissioner of the City of New York, JOHN P. GILBRIDE, the Special Agent-In-Charge of the New York Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration ("DEA"), ROSE GILL HEARN, the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Investigation ("DOI"), WILLIAM G. MCMAHON, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ("ATF"), and JOSEPH R. GUCCIONE, the United States Marshal for the Southern District of New York, announced today the arrests of twenty-three individuals for drug trafficking crimes allegedly committed out of the Bronx River Houses -- a housing project located in the Bronx, New York. In addition, another defendant was arrested today for the possession and sale of an AK-47 semi-automatic assault rifle. Seven charged defendants remain at large.
Today’s takedown is the culmination of a year-long law enforcement operation led by the New York City Police Department ("NYPD"), DEA, and DOI Office of the Inspector General for the New York City Housing Authority, with the assistance of the ATF and the United States Marshals Service for the Southern District of New York (“USMS”). The operation involved numerous purchases of narcotics -- specifically, crack cocaine and heroin -- made by undercover NYPD officers from drug dealers in the Bronx River Houses. In addition, one defendant is alleged to have stabbed a rival drug dealer. At the time of the arrests this morning, law enforcement authorities executed search warrants on 16 separate apartments in and around the Bronx River Houses, seizing thousands of dollars in cash, both crack cocaine and heroin, and four firearms, including a sawed-off shotgun, among other things.
The defendants are charged in four separate indictments and face the following potential penalties, per count:
Defendants SPENCER JONES, a/k/a “Speed,” MICHAEL TEMPLE, a/k/a “Wody,” CONRAD WILLIS, a/k/a “Rad,” AZJAYE ALLEN, a/k/a “AJ,” JEMALL DAVIS, a/k/a “Trash,” CURTIS FRAZIER, a/k/a “Bolo,” and EMMANUEL CRAIG, a/k/a “Fats,” a/k/a “E,” are still at large.
Mr. GARCIA praised the outstanding investigative work of the NYPD, DEA, DOI, ATF, and USMS.
"Today, thanks to the dedicated officers and federal agents on this case, the law-abiding citizens of the Bronx River Houses can go about their daily lives without fear of these drug dealers and their destructive influence on the community," said U.S. Attorney MICHAEL J. GARCIA.
"In partnership with both federal and county prosecutors, the New York City Police Department has persistently addressed narcotics trafficking in New York's public housing developments. They are home to tens of thousands of law-abiding citizens who have a right to public safety. This latest effort in the Bronx is part of the reason why crime has declined 30% citywide over the last six years," said Police Commissioner RAYMOND W. KELLY. "I want to commend in particular the undercover police officers who put their lives at risk, as well as the federal agents who brought their expertise to the operation. The residents of the Bronx River Houses can now say 'good riddance' to the drug dealers in their neighborhood."
"These arrests signal a united effort by law enforcement to deny sanctuary to those who sell drugs or guns," said DEA Special Agent-in-Charge JOHN P. GILBRIDE. "Residents of the Bronx River Houses deserve a safe, drug-free place to live and play, and today they are closer to that reality."
"Today's arrests will improve the quality of life for residents at the Bronx River Houses and demonstrate that there's no room for drug trafficking in City housing," said DOI Commissioner ROSE GILL HEARN. "DOI is committed to working with its law enforcement partners to root out this kind of criminal activity."
Assistant United States Attorneys LAUREN M. OUZIEL, MARGARET GARNETT, and DANIEL GOLDMAN are in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.