NEW YORK – A crew controlled by the Crips street gang made $1 million a year dealing drugs that were sometimes delivered in toy cars and trucks, authorities said.
In one instance, a child was used to take drugs to an undercover officer, police said Thursday. Other times, they said, suspects made deals on school playgrounds.
The eight-month undercover investigation resulted in charges against 96 people, half of whom lived in a cluster of housing projects in the Queens borough. Police had arrested 81 of the suspects; the rest were being sought.
Prosecutors said some suspects were affiliated with the Crips, including one charged with shooting a 15-year-old to death last year. Crips crews, known as sets, have proliferated in the city, they said.
During the investigation, undercover officers made more than 200 purchases of cocaine, heroin and marijuana at one housing complex where more than 3,300 people live in nearly 1,400 apartments. They later seized more than 10 pounds of cocaine, thousands of dollars and four guns, including a loaded assault weapon.
Police said the dealers sometimes delivered drugs concealed in the battery compartments of remote-controlled toy cars and trucks.
The suspects were named in 29 indictments charging felony criminal sale of a controlled substance. Convictions carry up to 20-year prison terms.