Two Jamaica men have been charged with possessing and selling cocaine near a local college campus and a public high school, prosecutors announced on Friday.
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said that Timothy Hawkins, 52, a lab technician at CUNY York College, and Barry Salter, 47, the alleged supplier, were arraigned before the Queens Criminal Court on Jan. 19. Hawkins was charged with counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, criminal sale of controlled substance in or near school grounds, criminal possession of a controlled substance, conspiracy and criminally using drug paraphernalia.
Salter was charged with counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, criminal possession of a controlled substance and conspiracy. Each man faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
The investigation began in April 2017 when NYPD officers were assigned to focus on cocaine trafficking in Jamaica. During the course of the investigation, which included physical surveillance, court authorized eavesdropping and search warrants, undercover police officers and others allegedly purchased cocaine from Hawkins on many occasions.
On a number of occasions, according to the charges, Hawkins was allegedly observed leaving York College to meet with undercover operatives who were posing as drug buyers and driving with the buyers to Salter’s residence to pick up the drugs before returning to the college.
On two occasions, prosecutors said, Hawkins was allegedly observed leaving York College and making drug sales near the Queens High School for the Sciences, which is within the campus of York College.
Earlier this week, officers executed a court-authorized search warrant on Salter’s apartment. During the search, police allegedly recovered two kilos of cocaine, two digital scales, a money counter and $2,000 in cash.
“This investigation is another example of police and prosecutors working together to reduce drug dealing that too often plagues our neighborhoods,” Brown said in a Jan. 19 statement. “We are committed to continuing to employ aggressive and innovative tactics to track down and prosecute drug dealers and others who would flood our streets with drugs and lure our children into lives of crime. If convicted, the defendants face considerable time behind bars.”