A “neighborhood cancer” was excised from the streets of Bay Ridge Friday when cops raided a notorious drug den on 93rd Street near Fourth Avenue.
Officials said that members of Patrol Borough Brooklyn South’s Narcotics Unit swooped down on the brick-faced home at 581 93rd Street and arrested five people inside. A sixth suspect was still being sought by late Tuesday.
Two apartments inside the home were reportedly raided for contraband, although sources said that not a lot of drugs were recovered.
The appearance of so many police officers converging on the home stunned some, but their surprise was followed by rounds of applause once they realized that cops were responding to a long-standing neighborhood complaint.
“People were clapping and thanking us,” recalled one police source. “Some of them even toasted us with martini glasses.”
Officials said that the suspects taken out in handcuffs were arrested for a number of drug-related crimes.
But by Tuesday, as a NYPD mobile command center still stood watch outside the home – reminding potential drug buyers that their candy store had been closed – cops would not identify those they had in custody. Their names were set to be released during a press conference by the Kings County District Attorney’s office Wednesday.
Officials said that community residents had been complaining about the overt drug dealing and fights that have taken place at the humble-looking home for years.
Many of the residents on the leafy block between Third and Fourth avenues knew what was going on behind closed doors and were growing more and more frustrated because they believed the police were not doing anything about it.
But officials said that detectives from Brooklyn South Narcotics were spearheading an undercover investigation, which took nearly two years to complete.
Sources said that the investigation was halted for a brief period when several narcotics investigators were accused of inappropriate behavior and the entire team was reassigned. The undercover drug buys that investigators built their case on had to be redone, they said.
“These two apartments in Bay Ridge were kind of a cancer in the neighborhood,” a law enforcement source said. “We were looking at them for a long time, and when the opportunity came to take them down, we did it.”
Inspector Eric Rodriguez, the commanding officer of the 68th Precinct, said that the 93rd Street drug den was a “major community complaint.”
“Everyone involved in this case listened to the community’s concerns and made sure that we did this the right way,” Rodriguez explained. “This was a longstanding problem and we did not want a Band-Aid fix.”
“The people on this block lived in fear as these drug dealers ran rampant,” added State Senator Marty Golden, who applauded the completion of the investigation. “They have been a problem for our community for a host of reasons. I’m just glad that the community no longer has to suffer what they’ve already suffered through any longer.”
©2008 Community News Group
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