The Feds busted eight members of a notorious drug gang that operated out of the Soundview Houses.
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, James J. Hunt, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), and James P. O’Neill, the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), announced the unsealing of an Indictment charging a total of eight defendants with engaging in the distribution of crack cocaine and marijuana in the vicinity of the Soundview Houses housing project in the 43rd Precinct, in Bronx, New York. One of the defendants, ELLIOT JAMES, a/k/a “L Boogie,” a/k/a “Ace,” was also charged with using a firearm in furtherance of his drug trafficking crimes. Seven defendants were arrested today, and one defendant remains at large. The seven defendants who are in custody were presented and arraigned before U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge Debra Freeman. The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “The Soundview Houses residents deserve to live free of drug-dealing and guns in their neighborhood, something that the eight defendants charged today allegedly made difficult. We thank our partners at the DEA and NYPD for their efforts in this and other investigations aimed at keeping our communities safe from drugs and gun violence.”
DEA Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt said: “These eight defendants allegedly made the Soundview Houses their stomping ground for drug trafficking. No one chooses to live next door to drug dealers and today’s arrests have paved ground for a safer neighborhood with less drugs and drug-related crimes.”
Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill said: “As alleged, these individuals distributed narcotics in and around the Soundview Houses and by doing so, endangered the safety of surrounding residents with their criminal enterprise. An investigation conducted by the NYPD’s Gun Violence Suppression Division and our law enforcement partners strategically targeted this illegal activity and as a result, effected the arrests of several individuals responsible for trafficking narcotics. I commend the work of the investigators and prosecutors who committed themselves to this investigation.”
As alleged in the indictment unsealed today in the Manhattan Federal Court:
Between 2014 and February 2017, ELLIOT JAMES, a/k/a “L Boogie,” a/k/a “Ace,” JAMEL DAVIS, a/k/a “Pootie,” TYLER MASSEY, a/k/a “Gordo,” DONOVAN MOSS, a/k/a “Don,” JONATHAN NUNEZ, a/k/a “Munna,” BRANDON RAMSEUR, a/k/a “BR,” JONATHAN REYES, a/k/a “Grillz,” and JAMEL SIMS, a/k/a “Jamal Brown,” conspired to sell crack cocaine and marijuana in the vicinity of the Soundview Houses in Bronx. During the course of the conspiracy, the defendants sold crack cocaine to confidential informants and undercover law enforcement officers on numerous occasions. Certain defendants also sold crack cocaine to the undercover officers on behalf of their co-conspirators or worked together to complete the sales to the undercover officers.
The defendants face maximum terms of life in prison and mandatory minimum terms of 10 years in prison. The statutory maximum penalties are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the Court.
Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the DEA and the NYPD.
These cases are being handled by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Michael Longyear, Jessica Fender, and Scott Hartman are in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.