Authorities rounded up 14 members of the Bloods street gang on federal drug charges following an early Wednesday morning raid in Rockville Centre.
Prosecutors said the reputed gang members ran a large-scale crack cocaine dealing operation based out of the Old Mill Court apartment complex, a public housing unit. The suspects will be arraigned before United States Magistrate Judge E. Thomas Boyle at U.S. District Court in Central Islip.
“These arrests mark an important step in returning the streets of Rockville Centre to the law-abiding residents,” said Janie Fedarcyk, FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office. “Narcotics traffickers and street gang members pose a threat our communities, and the FBI is committed to ridding our neighborhoods of these twin plagues.”
The Bloods are one of the largest and most violent street gangs on Long Island. They have been the target of multiple probes conducted by the Long Island Gang Task Force, an inter-agency operation led by the FBI.
The arrests followed a four-month joint investigation by the FBI, Nassau County police, Rockville Centre village police, Suffolk County police, Nassau County Sheriff’s Department, Hempstead village police, U.S. Marshal’s Service, Internal Revenue Service, Yonkers police and the NYPD.
The dealers also operated out of a house in Hempstead and two homes in Brooklyn. Drugs and ammunition were seized when authorities executed the search warrants.
Investigators used court-ordered wiretaps to gather the evidence needed to make their case. Transcripts of multiple drug deals are detailed in the federal grand jury indictment unsealed Wednesday.
Police and FBI agents also conducted surveillance of some drug deals. Authorities indicate in court documents that the gang suspected they were under surveillance and tried to cover their tracks.
The suspects, who range in age from 25 to 58, face between 10 years and life in federal prison, if convicted.