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
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
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.