What to Know
- Fourteen people ,including two alleged drug kingpins, have been arrested in connection with alleged drug ring primarily serving southern BK
- The alleged drug ring made about $8,000 in daily sales -- netting roughly $50,000 each week
- More than $2 million in suspected heroin, fentanyl and cocaine, over $800,000 cash and two firearms were recovered, prosecutors said
Fourteen people, including two alleged drug kingpins, have been arrested in connection with a drug ring primarily serving southern Brooklyn that made about $8,000 in daily sales, prosecutors announced Thursday.
A 73-count indictment filed by the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor charges two alleged supervisors of the drug ring, William Barrous and Emmanuel Batista, with operating as major traffickers under New York State’s drug kingpin statute. The men also face charges of conspiracy and possession of a controlled substance.
Additionally, Barrous was charged with criminal posession of a weapon and criminally using drug paraphernalia.
Barrous is scheduled for arraignment Thursday in Manhattan. Meanwhile, Batista and 10 other defendants are scheduled for arraignment on Jan. 31. Two others were arraigned last week.
Attorney information Barrous and Batista was not immediately known.
According to prosecutors, the long-term investigation was conducted by the NYPD’s Narcotics Borough Brooklyn South and involved over 50 sales to undercover officers between Feb. 10, 2017 and Nov. 30, 2018.
Allegedly, the delivery service overseen by Barrous, 28, and Batista, 27, operated in shifts between 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days per week. Customers were centered in the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Midwood, Sheepshead Bay, Marine Park and Mill Basin, prosecutors say, adding that the drugs sold included heroin, fentanyl, cocaine and prescriptions pills.
The majority of the arrests occurred on Dec. 12, 2018, after a series of searches, according to prosecutors. At Barrous’ Fresh Meadows, Queens, residence — which apparently served as a stash house for the drug ring — police allegedly found two loaded guns and 7 kilos of heroin and cocaine. Prosecutors estimate the drugs would have yielded millions of dollars in street-level sales.
Additionally, police recovered over $796,000 cash, including bags of cash that bore markings indicating a day of the week and shift number, prosecutors allege, adding that police also seized ammunition, drug packaging equipment and a large quantity of jewelry.
During a search of Batista’s residence, Flushing, Queens, police allegedly seized heroin and cocaine, nearly $7,500 cash, expensive jewelry, designer handbags and a Land Rover.
The investigation revealed that the drug ring allegedly sold between $4,000 and $8,000 in narcotics each day for up to $50,000 per week.
Prosecutors say Batista oversaw the daily operations. In setting up sales, alleged members of the drug ring provided customers with a phone number that connected them to a “dispatcher." Upon receiving an order, the dispatcher would allegedly then used a different phone to call one of several runners to deliver narcotics to the customer.
The highly organized delivery service operated in two daily shifts, with two runners per shift covering a portion of the delivery service’s territory, according to prosecutors.
Special Narcotics Prosecutor Brennan said that “the accused drug kingpins who headed this drug delivery service were businessmen who cared only for their bottom line: profits.”
Brennan continued by saying the ring was “showing utter disregard for the damage inflicted on customers’ lives, the ring sold more than $100,000 in heroin, cocaine and the dangerous synthetic opioid fentanyl each month.”
NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill said the drug bust was evidence of the opioid problem facing Americans.
“Today, opioids are a larger threat to American lives than vehicle crashes and gun violence, and this crisis demands our full and highly-focused attention,” O’Neil said in a statement.
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said the alleged dealers profited off those "lost to addiction without concern for the harm they cause in the communities where they sell these illegal narcotics.”
“The opioid crisis has hit this section of Brooklyn hard and so I commend the Special Narcotics Prosecutor and all of our law enforcement partners for focusing resources on ending this drug delivery service.” Gonzalez said.
Meanwhile, Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said “deadly drugs in our communities is a battle we must continue to fight.”