Seven officers received accolades on Wednesday night for their roles in two significant drug and gun busts in Flushing last month.
Inspector Judith Harrison, commanding officer of the 109th Precinct, distributed the Cop of the Month Awards at the Community Council meeting on April 11.
Sergeant Ling Ma and Police Officers Joseph Knight and Andrzej Maziarz received the first round of recognition. On March 13 at around 2:20 p.m., the officers were on plain-clothes street patrol in an unmarked car when they observed a drug transaction at 146th Street and 58th Avenue, in close proximity to a local school, Harrison noted.
When the officers approached the individuals and identified themselves, the group of suspects tried to flee the scene. Some were apprehended at the scene, while others fled to a nearby residence.
Officers then obtained and executed a search warrant at the Flushing home, where they recovered 195 pounds of marijuana — worth an estimated street value of $500,000 — 19 bags of the painkiller ketamine, a machine used to print forged identification cards and over $19,000 in cash.
Six total suspects were placed under arrest and face drug and forgery charges.
“It was a significant arrest, and it wasn’t as a result of a 911 radio call,” Harrison said. “It was just them being out there serving the community, being at the right place at the right time, and being observant, diligent and committed to the quality of life for Flushing residents.”
Less than two weeks later, on March 25, police received a call of shots fired outside of a residence on Mulberry Avenue. Officers David Perez, Rory Heron, Wilkania Columna and Sergeant Frank Mosca responded to the scene.
“[The officers] got there, they looked around, and they didn’t see any evidence of any shots fired,” the commanding officer said.
But the investigation didn’t end there, Harrison continued. Upon further inspection, the officers knocked on the door at the site and were able to gain access to the residence.
“When they went inside, they smelled a strong smell of gun powder. So the shots that were supposedly fired outside were fired inside,” she said.
Police discovered the 911 caller, who was allegedly under the influence of alcohol and prescription drugs, was the one firing the shots. Further, they observed a large cache of illegal weapons, including handguns, shotgun, rifles and assault rifles.
Officers seized the weapons and placed the Flushing resident under arrest.
“The seizure is significant, but for me what’s important is the firearms control that they maintained,” Harrison said. “Sometimes things can happen really quickly and you have to react really quickly. But these officers were patient under the direction of sergeant Mosca and they were able to bring this to a successful conclusion.”