Police announced the arrest and indictment of seven members of an alleged heroin trafficking ring that had cornered the heroin market in North Williamsburg today.
The crew, which was known for dealing narcotics in open view near the Cooper Park housing projects, according to investigators, was even spotted in a Google Earth photograph outside of one of their regular drug spots at the intersection of Jackson Street and Kingsland Avenue.
And, all of the ring’s drug sales took place within 1000 feet of the Montessori School, a preschool near Cooper Park, investigators said.
The charges are part of a four-month-long investigation done by the NYPD that resulted in more than 20 sales of heroin to undercover officers.
The suspects, who range in age from 18 to 32, were seen on surveillance cameras hiding heroin by stuffing it in a magnetic lock-box behind a metal sign on a storefront, investigators said.
The heroin sold was packaged in glassine envelopes and was stamped with different logos including “Fed Ex,” “KFC,” “Powerful Impact,” and the “Monster” energy drink logo.
The defendants -- Shaundell Dade, 32, Namel Lovelace, 24, Jonathan Paulino, 20, Juan Paulino, 18, Jamel Pringle, 22, and Rakwan Williams, 19, all of Brooklyn -- were charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance in or near school grounds and criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree.
A seventh defendant arrested this morning will be charged in a criminal complaint and arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court.
In a separate case stemming from the drug investigation, NYPD officers arrested five bodega employees on felony charges for the sale and possession of untaxed cigarettes. The two bodegas, located at 243 Jackson St. and 29 Kingsland Ave., were temporarily shuttered today and the shops’ owners are expected to face additional nuisance abatement proceedings.