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52 people charged in Central NY drug trafficking bust

April 28, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
52 people charged in Central NY drug trafficking bust

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Over 50 suspect have been charged in a wide-reaching drug trafficking bust in Syracuse, NY, and face charges that range from conspiring to murder to drug distribution.

In two indictments, the 52 people face charges for roughly 370 crimes, including working as a major drug trafficker, various counts of drug sale and possession, and conspiracy, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman revealed.

Schneiderman announced the outcome of the 12-month drug trafficking probe, titled Operation Bricktown, at a press conference on Thursday,

About 30 of the individuals who were busted are alleged to belong to Syracuse’s Bricktown Gang, an organization that’s had a presence in Syracuse for over ten years, Syracuse.com reported.

Five purported Bricktown members are facing charges of conspiracy to commit murder.

 A.G. Schneiderman, Syracuse Police announce Bricktown drug, weapons sweep. Kate Collins | kcollins@syracuse.com

Police surveillance indicates that they plotted to kill rival gang members in Syracuse, with one declaring “it’s war.”

Four others from a different group also face charges of conspiracy to commit murder for arranged hits on rivals. The state said the accused at one point tossed loaded firearms out of a window while being chased by officers.

The defendants were apprehended on Wednesday and Thursday morning in a string of raids across Syracuse and Cortland, Madison, Monroe, and Oswego counties. Two were busted out of state, in Pennsylvania and Wyoming.

Authorities seized a cache of weapons during the sweep

Relatives of the accused and others packed a courtroom for arraignments on Thursday in the Onondaga County Courthouse. Dozens sat in the hallway after courtroom hit capacity.

The drug operation extended across Central New York, with heroin and cocaine being moved throughout Cortland, Madison, Onondaga, Oswego, and St. Lawrence counties.

Through the probe, authorities confiscated:

– More than 2 kilos of cocaine
– 1,128 envelopes of heroin and over 20 grams of loose heroin
– Ecstasy and psychedelic mushrooms
– A 9-mm Lorcin loaded handgun with a destroyed serial number
– A .40-caliber Glock, loaded with a 30-round magazine
– A 9-mm Sig Sauer gun, loaded with a 15-round magazine
– A loaded .45-caliber Taurus handgun
– A 12-gauge shotgun
– Drug paraphernalia
– $3,657 in cash

Through ballistics testing, it was discovered that one of the firearms — the 9-mm Lorcin — was used in about 13 different shots-fired occurrences in Syracuse between 2015 and 2016.

Along with last year’s Operation Smackdown, which resulted in the arrest of 72 people across Central New York for drug trafficking, Schneiderman estimated they have taken over 120 drug dealers off the streets.

He said Operation Bricktown is the first move in his Suburban and Upstate Response to the Growing Epidemic initiative, a new attempt to target gangs and people who sell heroin and carry out violence across New York state.

The attorney general’s Organized Crime Task Force was supported by Syracuse Police, State Police, the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office, the Onondaga Probation Department, the State Division of Parole, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the State National Guard Counterdrug Task Force.

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