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Drug Den Busts

Suspected Dealers Pinched In Rx Raids

Four Glendale residents were cuffed last Wednesday, Feb. 1, after police recovered quantities of prescription painkillers, cocaine and marijuana from a pair of apartments during court-authorized raids, law enforcement sources said.

Members of the 104th Precinct’s Street Narcotics Enforcement Unit executed search warrants at the homes of 48-year-old Jessica Sowers, 22-year-old Lauren Vazquez and 20- year-old Stephanie Vazquez on 68th Street and 29-year-old Francisco Rugel on 66th Street between 8 and 9 a.m. last Wednesday.

Police said the search warrants were obtained based on information gathered by the unit regarding the street sale of prescription painkillers such as oxycodone in the area.

All four suspects were at the 68th Street residence when police arrived on Wednesday morning, according to the criminal complaint provided by the Queens District Attorney’s office.

During their search of the home, officers recovered varying amounts of marijuana, cocaine, oxycodone and alprazolam (commonly known as Xanax) from the location. Reportedly, a stun gun was also recovered from the location.

Rugel, Sowers and Lauren and Stephanie Vazquez were each charged with multiple counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminally using drug paraphernalia, criminal possession of a weapon and unlawful possession of marijuana.

Members of the unit later executed a search warrant at Rugel’s 66th Street apartment and found additional quantities of painkillers, tranquilizers and marijuana, as well as an amount of crack cocaine.

As a result, he was additionally charged with five additional counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of marijuana.

Police noted that both Lauren Vazquez and Rugel were each previously arrested for allegedly conducting drug sales in front of the 68th Street location.

According to court records, all four suspects were arraigned last Friday, Feb. 3, in Queens Criminal Court before Judge Michael Yavinsky. Rugel and Sowers were each ordered held on $150,000 bail; Lauren and Stephanie Vazquez were both released on their own recognizance.

They are all scheduled to return to court on Feb. 17.

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