New York Police Commissioner
Raymond W. Kelly and Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan today
announced that the Narcotics Borough Bronx has arrested 29 people in connection
with six drug gangs in and around the University Heights neighborhood of the
Bronx. Today's arrests mark the culmination of "Operation Uproot," an intense
six-month undercover investigation to target street-level and upper management
narcotics dealers in an effort to dismantle entrenched drug
"These criminals are
particularly violent, and many of them have extensive criminal records. By
taking down these six drug rings, we will make this neighborhood a much safer
place to live," said Commissioner Kelly. "Our war against illegal narcotics is
unrelenting. We will continue to find the criminals who smuggle drugs into our
city, from the high-level dealers to the street peddlers. We will find them and
bring them to justice."
As part of "Operation
Uproot," which began in July 2002, eight undercover detectives made more than
285 felony-level drug purchases, including: 728 glassines of heroin; 392 bags
and 14 tins of crack; and, 142 bags and 56 tins of cocaine. The heroin they
purchased had brand names such as "Dirty Urine," "Devil's Choice 666," and
"White House." In addition, officers purchased two 9-mm firearms. During the
investigation, police identified six drug organizations, which co-existed with
no known gang-to-gang violence.
Many of those arrested have
extensive criminal backgrounds. In fact, Paul Vogelsang, a dealer for the "Grand
Avenue Gang," has 10 prior arrests, including attempted murder of a police
assault, and burglary. He served eight years in prison, and
was arrested today while on parole.
More than 20% of the total
crimes in the entire 46 Precinct take place within the small University Heights
area where these drug gangs operated, By putting 29 violent, drug-dealing
criminals behind bars, this area will become a much safer place to live.