A violent Hunts Point-based ring that sold crack, heroin and ammunition and committed holdups has been dismantled, as the result of a joint investigation that involved the federal government, the Bronx DA and the NYPD. In all, 25 defendants have been charged.
At the federal level, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives collaborated in the sting.
In all, two indictments were unsealed on Wednesday, charging 25 defendants with a variety of narcotics, firearms, and robbery-related offenses. Twenty-one of those are associated with a drug-distribution organization operating primarily in Hunts Point, in United States v. Hector Palermo, et al. (the “Palermo Indictment”). Of those defendants, 14 were taken into federal custody. One defendant was arraigned in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and six remain at large.
Joon Kim, the acting US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, praised the work of the the NYPD’s Violent Crime Squad and of the 41st Precinct.
“One by one, our office, along with our law enforcement partners, is identifying and prosecuting the violent gangs and drug dealing crews operating in the Bronx,” said Kim.
In one of the two indictments, being referred to as the Palermo Indictment, 21 defendants are charged with distribing large amounts of crack and heroin while armed.
Four men are named in the other indictment, which is being referred to as the Clark indictment, and are said to have distributed crack. One of the men, Lattine Clark, 20, of Hunts Point who went by the street name of “Dutts,” is charged with firing a gun during a shootout near Coster and Spofford streets on Oct. 16, 2016. Clark and three other suspects are also charged with robbing other suspected drug dealers and firing their weapons in Upper Manhattan on June 22, 2016.
Most of the suspects face maximums of life in prison.