59 people arrested in a "lengthy undercover probe" that "brought down an extensive drug-dealing operation.
Interesting, I thought. And not just because I live nearby and often ride my bike past The Bridge. No, it rang a bell. Ah, yes, here it is... a headline from 2005: Long Island City Drug Sting Rounds Up 37 Suspects.
The drug dealing started every day at 7 a.m., the police said, and was centered in a shopping area known as the Hill, at the heart of the Queensbridge Houses in Long Island City.Flash forward to 2009. There are still drugs. Still violence. Same homes. Same deal.
Drug dealers divided up the 26-building public housing development -- the city's largest -- and agreed to buy their crack and cocaine solely from a group of seven wholesalers and enforcers affiliated with the Bloods street gang, who called themselves the Dream Team, the police said.
But the enterprise, which the police say has been entrenched in the housing project for years, came to an end yesterday as the police and prosecutors announced the arrests of 37 people on state and federal drug charges.
The arrests, made over the past few days, ended an 11-month sting operation in which undercover officers bought 500 grams of cocaine from dealers and conducted surveillance at the project, the police said. The police are still seeking at least a dozen other suspects in the case, officials said.
Back in 2005, Danny Jackson had it right: “‘It’ll cool down a bit, but the next generation will come,’ said Danny Jackson, 27, a rap artist who works in warehouses for $6.50 an hour to support himself, his mother and his year-old daughter.”
And in four more years we’ll do it all again, spending more money, risking more police lives, and throwing more people in prison for no real long-term gain.
We need to stop this nonsense and legalize it all. Otherwise how can we regulate it?