Bridget G. Brennan, New York City’s Special Narcotics Prosecutor and New York City Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill announced today the arrest and indictment of six individuals in connection with an investigation that involved more than 50 sales of crack cocaine and heroin in the vicinity of the West 123rd Street and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard in Harlem.
Each of the six defendants is charged in a separate indictment filed in Manhattan Supreme Court by the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor. The arrests followed a long-term investigation by the New York City Police Department’s (NYPD) Manhattan North Narcotics. Arraignments are scheduled for this afternoon before Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Felicia A. Mennin, Part 22, 111 Centre Street. The defendants face charges of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree.
The investigation began in response to community complaints about persistent drug trafficking in the vicinity of 225 West 123rd Street. The defendants allegedly congregated in groups to sell narcotics on the block and impeded the ability of passersby, including school children, to safely use the sidewalks. At least five schools are located within a three-block radius of the block. Peak times for conducting drug sales fell between the hours of 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Beginning in June of 2017, loosely affiliated narcotics dealers allegedly made more than 50 sales of crack cocaine and heroin to an NYPD undercover officer. On some days multiple defendants sold to the undercover officer in rapid succession. In instances when one dealer was low on supply, he would refer customers to another dealer nearby.
During the investigation, defendant NANA POKU allegedly conducted 17 sales of crack cocaine and heroin to the undercover officer, the most of all of the defendants. Defendant GARY REID allegedly served as a heroin supplier for POKU. Aside from POKU and REID, the other defendants exclusively sold crack cocaine to the undercover officer.
In conjunction with the arrests this morning, members of the NYPD’s Manhattan North Narcotics conducted court authorized searches of three apartments, including POKU’s residence at 135 West 123rd Street. POKU was in his bedroom when police arrived. From underneath his mattress, police recovered two handguns. Quantities of suspected crack cocaine were found scattered around the apartment. Defendant DARREN SQUIRE was also arrested inside POKU’s residence.
Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan thanked her office’s Trial Division, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. and the NYPD’s Manhattan North Narcotics.
“I hope these arrests give relief to the beleaguered residents of West 123rd Street. School children and people on their way home from a long day at work had to push past dealers clogging sidewalks, making them feel uneasy in their own neighborhood,” said Special Narcotics Prosecutor Brennan. “In search warrants today, we seized crack cocaine alongside firearms, reminding all that violence and drug dealing often go hand in hand. I commend the NYPD’s Manhattan North Narcotics teams for their work and thank the residents of West 123rd Street for their perseverance as we developed evidence in this case.”
The charges and allegations are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.Download Press Release
Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s Office
New York City Police Department