A drug ring that sold cocaine across several Westchester towns was busted Tuesday in a sweep involving hundreds of police and federal agents.
Forty-three suspected members of the Elvis Santana drug crew were charged with selling crack and other drugs in towns like Peeksill, Yonkers and Ossining. The FBI said Santana is the head of the drug organization which netted about $1 million a year in sales.
The suspects were arraigned in federal court in White Plains Tuesday.
More than 200 FBI agents and police officers conducted the early morning raids that uncovered cash, drugs, a gun and hallow point bullets in numerous locations.
Investigators said the drug crew used cell phones and text messages to make their drug deliveries.
Residents in east Yonkers said they are not surprised by the brazen actions of the drug ring. They told NBCNewYork that drug dealing is out in the open on nights and weekends. Eva Ruiz said she is often afraid to go out at night on her own block. Another resident, Irma Monterosa, said she and her three children recently moved to try to get away from the drug dealers.
Prosecutors said the gangs poisoned the streets of their surrounding communities. "The antidote to that poison is the kind of tough law enforcement action that we have taken today," said U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said.
Van loads of suspects were seen driving in and out of a processing center in Elmsford following the morning raids. Others charged in the ring include Danny "Young Stunna" Bueno, Angel "Young Money" Delacruz, Emmanuel "Manny" Martinez and Harold "New Money" Roman.
All 43 defendants face a possible life sentence if convicted of conspiring to distribute cocaine.