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Press Release | NO. 2003-025

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Press Release # 025
Friday, March 28, 2003

New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly Announces Arrest Of 9 Individuals For Selling Narcotics And Firearms In The Bronx

New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly today announced the arrest of 9 individuals on narcotics and firearms charges during a takedown yesterday in the Fordham section of the Bronx. The arrests mark the culmination of an eight-month investigation, in which an undercover detective made numerous illegal narcotics purchases, including large quantities of marijuana, cocaine, crack, and ecstasy. In addition, the detective bought 16 handguns and one assault rifle.

Police also executed four search warrants yesterday at 2600 Creston Avenue, where most of the illegal activities were based.  Police Commissioner Kelly said: "These arrests mark another success in our on-going effort fight the narcotics trade in New York City and to get guns off the streets. Undercover investigations can be extremely dangerous, as we were tragically reminded last month by the murders of two undercover detectives. These officers perform outstanding work in high-pressure situations. I commend the detective in this case for doing an excellent job of gathering evidence so that we could bring these criminals to justice."

Detectives from the 52 Module of Narcotics Borough Bronx launched the investigation in July 2002 after developing information about an organization led by Julio "Yogi" Gomez, 22, that was selling narcotics on Creston Avenue between East 192nd and 193rd Streets, at the border of St. James Park. During the investigation, the undercover detective purchased a total of 13 ounces of marijuana, 253 grams of powder and crack cocaine, and 69 pills of ecstasy.

The detective won the confidence of the subjects and discovered that some of them also sold illegal firearms. He expanded his operation and began purchasing as many as guns as possible. From October 2002 to yesterday's takedown, he bought one .223 assault rifle and 16 handguns (seven 9-mms, five .380s, three .22s, and one .25).

The investigation was aided by the NYPD's ongoing "Operation Impact," in which more than 1,400 additional officers have been deployed in 61 neighborhoods across the city. The presence of extra uniformed officers in the Fordham section of the Bronx forced the subjects of this investigation to conduct sales in new locations, which often threw their operations off-balance.

In addition to Gomez, the following members of the gang were arrested:
Fernando Cuardado, 23; Isaac Torres, 18; Raymond Figueroa, 22; Anthony Acosta, 27; Adam Torres, 18; Frankie Monge, 19; and Raphael Montero, 28. Gomez has an extensive criminal record, including 13 arrests with one violent felony conviction. Figueroa has five arrests and an open felony case involving assault and criminal use of a firearm.

These individuals face federal charges including criminal sale of a controlled substance, criminal sale of a firearm, criminal possession of stolen property, reckless endangerment, and unauthorized use of a firearm.


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