A seventh defendant, Tysheim Warren, was arrested in connection with a nine-count indictment filed in federal court in Brooklyn, also charging Javier Blackett, John Paul Balcazar, David Maldonado, Hassan McClean, Kevin Raphael and Andrew Rose with crimes stemming from their participation in a drug-trafficking organization that distributed more than 400 grams of crack cocaine in the Prospect Lefferts Gardens/Flatbush neighborhoods of Brooklyn. The indictment was returned by a grand jury on May 10, 2018. Blackett, Maldonado, Raphael and Rose were arrested on May 15, 2018. Balcazar was arrested on May 18, 2018, and McClean was arrested on May 22, 2018. They were arraigned and ordered detained pending trial. Warren was arraigned this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Steven M. Gold and ordered detained.
Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), and James P. O’Neill, Commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD), announced the charges.
According to the indictment and court filings, the defendants’ drug-selling operations centered around several residential buildings approximately three blocks southeast of the Prospect Park ice skating rink. Since March 2017, members of law enforcement made numerous controlled purchases totaling more than 400 grams of crack cocaine from the defendants’ organization and intercepted, pursuant to court order, communications discussing their distribution of significantly more narcotics. Blackett, a member of the Eight Trey set of the Crips street gang, was the leader of the organization; Raphael was one of his principal suppliers; and Balcazar, Maldonado, McClean, Rose and Warren were workers.
“The residents of Brooklyn are entitled to streets that are free of the dangerous drugs the defendants were allegedly selling,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue. “This Office, together with our law enforcement partners, will continue to work tirelessly to put drug dealers out of business and hold them accountable for their crimes.”
“These dealers are alleged to have operated very close to a place where families go, where children play and where people find sanctuary in the city,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney. “When doing business with gang members and drug dealers, violence inevitably follows and innocent people could have been caught up in it. The FBI Metro Safe Streets Task Force works every day to protect the community from these dangerous gang members and preventing them from proliferating their deadly drugs.”
“The NYPD’s efforts to eradicate drug trafficking are greatly strengthened by our close partnerships with the FBI and the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District,” stated NYPD Commissioner O’Neill. “I commend everyone involved in this case, particularly the investigators who put themselves directly in harm’s way. Those who illegally deal in narcotics should be prepared for the full weight of our nation’s best law enforcement professionals to bear down upon them.”
If convicted of the conspiracy charge, the defendants face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment and up to life in prison. The charges in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally based strategies to reduce violent crime.
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