LAWFUEL – MICHAEL J. GARCIA, the United States Attorney for the Sou…

LAWFUEL – MICHAEL J. GARCIA, the United States Attorney for the
Southern District of New York, announced today that the final
Indicted member of a large crack cocaine organization, which once
controlled the sales of crack cocaine in the Co-op City Housing
Development, pleaded guilty to narcotics trafficking and firearms
offenses before United States District Judge ROBERT P. PATTERSON.
According to statements made during relevant plea proceedings,
documents filed in Manhattan federal court, and the evidence at
various trials:

From early 2005 until December 2005, officers of the
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (“ATF”) and
the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), with assistance
from the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”),
conducted a joint investigation of drug trafficking —
particularly the distribution of crack cocaine — gun possession,
firearms trafficking, and related violence in the vicinity of Co-
Op City, a 50,000-person residential community located in Bronx,
New York. During the course of this investigation, approximately
50 guns and numerous rounds of ammunition were seized. In mid-
December 2005, 18 defendants, who were later Indicted, were
charged in Manhattan federal court with various narcotics and
firearms offenses, including several defendants who were charged
in connection with a violent pistol-whipping, on August 15, 2005,
of a rival drug dealer in the area.

On December 14, 2005, JARED GOMES, a/k/a “JG,” was
charged in a Complaint with narcotics and firearms offenses in
connection with this investigation, including offenses relating
to the August 15, 2005 assault. A fugitive prior to his arrest,
GOMES was arrested on March 29, 2007, with the assistance of the
United States Marshal Service.

During plea proceedings on August 15 and August 20,
2007, GOMES pleaded guilty to one count of participating in a
conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine and possess crack cocaine
with intent to distribute it — from 2000 to August 15, 2005 —
and one count of brandishing a handgun in connection with the
August 15, 2005 assault. As a result of his plea, GOMES faces a
mandatory minimum sentence of seven years in prison, and a
maximum prison term of 27 years. He is scheduled to be sentenced
on November 15, 2007, before Judge PATTERSON.

In connection with the wide-ranging investigation, 15
other individuals associated with crack distribution and/or
firearms in Co-Op City have pleaded guilty to felony charges
involving narcotics and/or firearms offenses, or been convicted
of such offenses following trial. Two additional individuals
have pleaded guilty to misdemeanor firearms charges. Those who
have been sentenced on felony narcotics offenses have received
terms of up to 151 months’ imprisonment. Those who were
sentenced solely for felony firearms offenses have received terms
of imprisonment of up to 51 months.

Mr. GARCIA praised the collective efforts of the ATF,
the NYPD, and the DEA for their work in the investigation.
The cases have been prosecuted by the Narcotics Unit of
the United States Attorney’s Office. Assistant United States
Attorneys CHRISTOPHER GARCIA, GURUANJAN SAHNI, AVI WEITZMAN,
JULIAN MOORE, MARGARET GARNETT, and IRIS LAN are in charge of the prosecution.

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