Getty Images/David Hallett
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JANUARY 18: A handful of the 25170 tablets of the drug Ecstasy that were found earlier this week. The total drug haul has a street value of over 2 million. (Photo by David Hallett/Getty Images)
The ringleader of a Manhattan gun and drug trafficking ring pleaded guilty today to trafficking charges that will put him behind bars for 14 years.
Marcel Navarro,22, plead guilty in Manhattan Supreme Court to criminal sale of a firearm in the first degree, criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, and criminal sale of a controlled substance in the first degree, according to court documents.
Officials identified Navarro, also known as JD Marcel, as the ringleader of the drug and gun group which operated between West 212th to West 215th Streets and Broadway and Tenth Ave, law enforcement officials said.
Throughout a 10-month undercover investigation, police say Navarro and his associates sold 22 firearms valued at $27,500. An undercover detective also purchased more than 20 ounces of cocaine and 99 doses of Ecstasy worth more than $16,000. The group wasn't just selling to individuals but also providing drugs to other dealers in the area, police said.
The other members of the ring, Christopher Navarro, Emmanuel Felix and Michael Berrios had previously pleaded guilty to charges brought against them in the case.
“Guns and drugs persistently threaten our safety, the stability of our neighborhoods, and the futures of our children. The guilty plea of the ringleader should put others on notice – the sale of illegal guns and drugs will not be tolerated,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said today.
Navarro faced up to 25 years in prison.