Lower East Side Drug Ring Busted in Wake of Cop Shooting

Posted on: December 26th, 2012 at 6:09 am by

essex-cop-shooter-2

Even though the cop shooter remains at large, the undercover operation led by officer Groves at 64 Essex Street last summer still resulted in the dissolution of a Lower East Side drug ring. As reported last week, the gun fired in the stairwell if the 23rd floor was purchased in another sting with said drug group, referred to simply as the “Organization.” Thirteen of its members were simultaneously charged with one count of conspiring to distribute, and possess with “intent to distribute, cocaine, crack cocaine and oxycodone from about 2007 up to about December 2012.”

64 Essex – the Seward Park Extension housing complex – was apparently one of three participant buildings from which the Organization operated. Here’s more from the Manhattan District Attorney website:

Since at least 2007, the Organization has operated primarily in and around the buildings at 154 Broome Street, 410 Grand Street and 64 Essex Street in Manhattan (the “Lower East Side buildings”). The Organization was run by RICHARD FRANCO, who directed, managed or otherwise supervised members and associates of the Organization – including LAZARUS FRANCO, LATWON GARCIA, DAMIEN GIRDNER, FUQUAN JONES, GEORGE LAURIANO, JOHN LAURIANO, JASON ROSARIO, KENNETH SIDERS, ISMAEL SIDIBE, RASHEEN SMITH, JOSE VALETTE, and LUKE WOOLFOLK. The members and associates conducted hand-to-hand transactions of cocaine, crack cocaine, and oxycodone pills in the Lower East Side buildings and the surrounding area. During at least some of these transactions, the Organization members carried firearms.

The investigation into the Organization began after the July 2012 shooting of NYPD Officer Brian Groves who was performing a patrol of the stairway of 64 Essex Street when he observed an individual holding a gun on the 23rd floor staircase landing. The individual turned and ran down the stairs, and when Officer Groves pursued and confronted him, the individual shot one bullet into Officer Groves. He survived.

As part of the investigation, two undercover NYPD officers made approximately 25 buys of cocaine and crack cocaine from various members of the Organization. In September 2012, the undercover officers bought a gun from a member of the Organization that, based on ballistics analysis, is the same gun that was used to shoot Officer Groves.

Recent Stories

forever-clinton-december
‘Forever’ an Invasion on the Lower East Side

It never ends, does it. Filming activities for the ABC show Forever constantly plague the area east of Essex Street, at an average rate of once a week. With good reason. This is where the fictional Abe’s Antiques resides (154 Stanton), eponymous place of employment for a main character in the show (Abe Morgan). The […]

April 2011
2nd Avenue Subway Station to Receive WiFi Service Next Spring; End of 2015 for East Broadway Station

Not so fast. Despite the recent installation of WiFi equipment inside the East Broadway F station, internet access in this embattled subway stop is still far on the horizon. Transit Wireless, the company contracted to put the city’s system on the grid, tells us that service is part of Phase 4 which is set to […]

anthony seiner pret
In Which Anthony Weiner Grabs Grub at Pret A Manger

Okay, so this is admittedly well outside our reach, but whatever. Friend of Boogie sent us this image of disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner (aka Carlos Danger) grabbing grub at a midtown Pret A Manger. There he is at a table with some random dude talking shop. Apparently this was a couple weeks ago. We […]

204forsyth-2
The 7-Story Condo Atop the Nativity Mission on Forsyth Street is Proclaimed ‘Edgy Refinement East of SoHo’

The full foundation is not even poured, and already the buzzards are circling the carcass of the former Nativity Mission School on Forsyth Street. Interior renderings for the eleven-story replacement tower are presently making the rounds, uploaded this week to social media by celebrity broker Fredrik Eklund. There is also a new splash page for […]

Centre-fuge Cycle 15, October 2014
Centre-fuge Public Art Project Announces Cycle 16 Artists

Herewith, a little color to brighten the day. The Centre-fuge public art project just announced its quarterly roster of artists set to decorate the mid-block trailer on East First Street. We’re now up to Cycle 16 in the ambitious endeavor, the final class of 2014. Rather than individual murals, fourteen of the twenty-two artists who […]