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Suspects Indicted in Lower East Side Crack Cocaine Investigation

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New York City District Attorney Cy Vance announced this afternoon that 11 people have been indicted following a lengthy drug investigation at the Jacob Riis Houses.

Jacob Riis Houses.
Jacob Riis Houses.

According to a press release from the D.A.’s office the “narcotics trafficking organization… possessed and sold street-level crack cocaine, as well as larger, resale quantities of the drug.”  The indictments were the result of a 21-month investigation that included, “undercover operations, physical surveillance, and court-authorized electronic eavesdropping” at locations in and around the Riis Houses, located at East 8th Street and Avenue D.

The D.A. identified Dwayne Mitchell, 35, as the leader of the drug organization.  According to the indictment, he “obtained wholesale quantities of crack cocaine from another suspect,  Sabed Rahman. The two men are “accused of meeting regularly over a long period to exchange wholesale quantities of drugs and cash, including at a Starbucks location in Midtown Manhattan.”  They are charged with conspiracy, criminal Sale of a controlled substance, money laundering and other charges. “According to statements made on the record in court, the organization spent drug proceeds on expensive vehicles, including Mercedes automobiles, as well as on other luxury items,” according to the press statement.

Additional suspects charged with conspiracy and other offenses include: Felix Benitiz, Edith Gutierrez, Charles Laboy, Anthony Martin, Jason Martin, Fatima Owens, Eric Ray, Ronald Williams and Craig Witter.


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