According to local news reports from Virginia, a suspect wanted in connection with the shooting of a police officer on the Lower East Side last summer has been taken into custody. The King William County Sheriff arrested Kenneth Siders, 35, after a “standoff in a residence” May 8. Siders was one of 13 people charged by the U.S. Attorney late last year on federal drug trafficking and gun charges.
The investigation began soon after the shooting of NYPD Officer Brian Groves July 5 inside 64 Essex Street, which is part of the Seward Park Extension public housing complex. The officer was saved by his bullet proof vest. During the undercover operation, prosecutors said cops bought cocaine and crack from alleged members of the organizations on 25 occasions and purchased a .22 caliber handgun that, according to ballistics tests, was used in the shooting of Groves.
When the indictments were unsealed last December, prosecutors noted that one defendant remained at large. Siders was charged with both drug and gun possession offenses carrying potential life prison terms but the U.S. Attorney was not specific about his role in the cop shooting. The indictment alleged that a man named Richard Franco was in charge of the drug organization which had allegedly operated from the Seward Park Extension since 2007.