Leader of Violent Drug Crew Sentenced to Life in Prison
Gerard Price, a leader of a drug trafficking organization based in the Gowanus Housing Development in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, was sentenced today to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for racketeering, including predicate acts of murder and four attempted murders; murder in-aid of racketeering; conspiring to maintain narcotics stash houses; use of a firearm in connection with a narcotics trafficking offense; and witness tampering. A federal jury in Brooklyn convicted Price on April 24, 2009, following a three-week trial before United States District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis.
The sentence was announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.
As established during the trial, Price, along with his brother Robert Price and uncle Eddie Pressley, ran a violent drug trafficking organization that dominated the sale of heroin and crack cocaine in the Gowanus Houses throughout much of the 1990s. Robert Price is currently serving a life sentence, and Eddie Pressley is serving a sentence of 292 months’ incarceration for their roles in this case.
The government’s evidence at trial established that on August 20, 1999, Gerard Price lured Ronald Chavis and Michael Brown from the Gowanus Houses to the Tompkins Housing Development in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. Once there, Price led Chavis and Brown into a residential apartment building where Price asked them to wait. Shortly thereafter, Price shot Chavis twice, once in the chest and once in the head. Chavis died at the scene. Price also shot Brown in the face, but Brown survived and escaped. Days later, Gerard Price was arrested by local authorities. In January 2001, Price was acquitted of the Chavis murder following trial in Kings County Supreme Court. Through subsequent investigation, the government developed further evidence of Price’s commission of the Chavis murder, which led to his successful prosecution in federal court. In addition, the multi-year investigation resulted in the convictions of more than 20 other members and associates of the Price/Pressley organization on federal narcotics charges.
“Today’s sentence will prevent a dangerous drug dealer from causing further mayhem in the community,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. “We are committed to keeping our neighborhoods free of drug traffickers and the violence they cause.” Ms. Lynch extended her grateful appreciation to the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Kings County District Attorney’s Office, and the New York City Police Department.
The government’s case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Daniel S. Silver and Berit W. Berger.
GERARD PRICE, also known as “Crime”
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