Network of drug dealers operating in Far Rockaway taken down following long-term investigation: DA

Photo courtesy of Queens District Attorney’s Office

A drug dealing ring operating in Far Rockaway was dismantled following a year-long investigation by the NYPD and the Queens District Attorney’s Office.

Three men were arrested and charged for allegedly operating as a network of dealers who supplied a variety of drugs to buyers in Far Rockaway and other boroughs during the past year.

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz identified the defendants as Darren Jordan, 44, of Gateway Boulevard in Far Rockaway, Eric Weatherspoon, 56, of Thursby Avenue in Arverne, and Dexter Joseph, 49, of West Kingsbridge in the Bronx. All three were arraigned on Wednesday, Nov. 16, on various charges before Queens Criminal Court Judge Anthony Battisti. Weatherspoon was additionally charged with operating as a major trafficker, according to the DA’s office.

An additional crew member, Semaj McKay, 44, of Mott Avenue in Far Rockway, and a separate defendant, Marvin Mitchell, 36, of 229th Street in Springfield Gardens, were previously apprehended by law enforcement and indicted on attempted murder charges stemming from an alleged shoot-out over a territorial dispute on Nielson Street in Far Rockaway on April 11.

Katz said the investigation began in November 2021 with members of the NYPD Queens South Violent Crimes Squad uncovering a pattern of criminal activity, including drug trafficking in Queens and other boroughs. Through the use of surveillance, intelligence gathering, and court-authorized eavesdropping warrants, law enforcement officials identified “concrete evidence” of a controlled substance trafficking organization involving the defendants, with the exception of Mitchell.

On Wednesday, Nov. 16, police executed a court-authorized search warrant for the locations associated with defendants Jordan, Joseph and Weatherspoon. During the search, law enforcement officials recovered 9.5 kilos of cocaine, 216 pounds of marijuana, 10 grams of heroin, a loaded Ruger .40 caliber handgun and a loaded MP Shield 9MM handgun. Two bulletproof vests, narcotics packaging materials, four scales and 15 cell phones were also seized during the raids.

“Illicit drugs and the clear danger they help fuel have no place in our communities,” Katz said. “My office will work with the utmost precision to remove this poison from our streets and hold accountable those who profit from the drug trade. I’d like to thank my Major Economics Bureau and our partners at the NYPD for their steadfast efforts to rid Queens County of such criminality.”

Judge Battisti ordered Jordan, Joseph, and Weatherspoon to return to court on Nov. 21. If convicted, Jordan faces up to 15 years in prison, Joseph faces up to 30 years in prison and Weatherspoon faces up to 20 years in prison.

“The NYPD and our law enforcement partners work tirelessly to rid New York City of illegal drugs and prevent the violence so often associated with the illicit narcotics trade,” NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said. “This case underscores our work to arrest and hold fully accountable anyone who seeks to profit from criminality. For the success of their dedicated investigation, I am proud to thank our NYPD investigators, the prosecutors from the Queens District Attorney’s office, and everyone else who contributed to this important takedown.”