A Jamaica-based drug-dealing ring supplying cocaine, crack and heroin in Queens, the Bronx and Nassau County was dismantled following a long-term multi-agency investigation, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea and Katz announced Tuesday, Dec. 21, that 11 people have been indicted by a Queens grand jury and four of the accused have also been additionally charged in criminal complaints. The defendants allegedly operated as a network of dealers who supplied a variety of drugs in the past year.
Utilizing surveillance, undercover buys and court-authorized eavesdropping warrants, the DA’s Violent Criminal Enterprise Bureau along with the NYPD’s Queens Violent Crime Squad conducted a lengthy investigation leading to the arrests of the 11 defendants, as well as the seizure of cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, fentanyl, six handguns, an assault rifle, a sawed-off shogun, ammunition and other items.
Katz said the investigation began by looking into the activities of defendants Jason Hibbert and Troy Greene, both of Jamaica, Queens. Undercover detectives posing as “buyers” met with Hibbert on seven different occasions and allegedly bought drugs. Greene allegedly sold drugs to a “buyer” on eight separate occasions.
Hibbert, Greene, Kwansia Frasier of Jamaica, and Kevin Joseph of Freeport, Long Island, were all arraigned Wednesday before Queens Supreme Court Justice Daniel Lewis.
According to the charges, Hibbert and Greene allegedly set up a stash house on Liberty Avenue where customers visited frequently to buy drugs. The clientele developed code words to make buys, such as using the phrase “pieces of cake” to indicate the specific drug desired. Another defendant, Luis Parreno of Jamaica, allegedly made drug deliveries to buyers across Queens, the Bronx and Nassau.
Katz said the court-authorized eavesdropping warrant picked up various conversations regarding buying and selling drugs over the course of the investigation. On one of these calls, defendant David Mustiga of Jamaica, allegedly talked with co-defendant Jose Torres of the Bronx about buying two kilograms of cocaine from Puerto Rico for $25,000 per kilo.
In July, police executed a court-authorized search warrant for Torres’ home in the Bronx. Law enforcement recovered a loaded .45-caliber pistol, a loaded, defaced .380-caliber pistol, ammunition, over $13,000 in cash, three kilograms of controlled substances and other items.
In August, police authorized a court-ordered search warrant for Parreno’s Queens home and two vehicles, where they recovered more than $20,000 in cash, over 5 kilograms of controlled substances and other items.
Police executed court-authorized search warrants during late-night raids on Tuesday at the homes of Greene, Joseph and Frasier, which recovered large amounts of controlled substances, weapons, ammunition and cash.
Mustiga, Parreno, Torres and Jesus Perez of the Bronx have been charged with operating as major traffickers in this investigation.
“These charges demonstrate that the investigative efforts of New York City law enforcement are precisely focused and patient,” Shea said. “As long as individuals are involved in illegal narcotics sales in our communities, the NYPD and our partners will relentlessly work to stop the threat to public safety.”
Additionally, Perez is charged in a 68-count indictment for conspiracy and operating as a major trafficker and Edwin Hernandez of 213th Street in Queens is charged in a 68-count indictment for weapons charges.
“This investigation began by focusing on two suspected drug dealers here in Queens and expanded to include several others who allegedly together and independently sold heroin, powder cocaine and crack cocaine in our neighborhoods,” Katz said. “One of the defendants set up a stash house and distribution hub in a two-story residential building just steps from a neighborhood playground. We will not stand for those who sell poison in our communities.”