The neighbors nobody wanted have a new address.
Prosecutors announced last week that residents in two homes who allegedly turned a bucolic Bay Ridge street into a living nightmare have been indicted for a string of drug offenses – crimes that could get them 25 years in prison.
“These poison peddlers turned a quiet, residential block into a crime-filled drug den where families in the neighborhood were afraid to walk with their children,” District Attorney Charles Hynes said Wednesday as he announced the indictments with Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and several community legislators.
Prosecutors said that brothers Joseph Terrone, 54, Michael Terrone, 47, and Ross Terrone, 45, as well as Erica Raffone, 31, and Alan Reilly, 61, have been charged with selling prescription pills, crack and heroin from two adjacent homes at 346 and 348 93rd Street. A sixth suspect has been indicted, but was still being sought as this paper went to press.
Upon their indictment, the Terrone brothers and Raffone were remanded to custody. Reilly was arraigned on $50,000 bail.
Prosecutors said that the Terrone brothers and Raffone were charged with conspiracy in the first degree. If convicted, they could face 25 years to life in jail.
The Terrone brothers and their neighbors had been selling drugs from the two homes for years, officials alleged. The narcotics investigation that ultimately brought them down took two years to complete.
Cops from the 68th Precinct said that residents of 93rd Street between Third and Fourth Avenues have been complaining about the two addresses for years.
The rampant drug dealing on 93rd Street was often discussed on Bay Ridge Talk, a local blog.
“I’m hearing stories in the neighborhood that there’s a house on 93rd [Street] between 3rd and 4th Avenues (about three blocks from me) that’s become quite the problem in the neighborhood,” posted one blogger last year. “Everyone’s talking about the fighting and drug deals going down in the driveway of this house.”
“For years the residents of this community have informed us as to the activities that they have observed at these two residences,” said Assemblymember Janele Hyer-Spencer, who credited the police and Kings County District Attorney’s office for a job well done.
When cops swooped in to execute search warrants on Friday, June 20, residents applauded.
Some residents even pulled out a bottle of bubbly to toast the arrests, a police source said.
Days afterwards, cops kept a presence on 93rd Street as a warning to drug users that their local candy store has been put out of business.
Officials did admit that not a lot of illegal narcotics were seized from either home during the raid. A gun was reportedly found in one of the addresses.
Nevertheless, prosecutors said they have plenty of evidence to prosecute, thanks to a series of undercover buys done by Brooklyn South Narcotics investigators.
“But these indictments helped crush more than drug dealing, because when trafficking prospers, violence and other crimes are sure to follow,” Kelly explained at Wednesday’s press conference.
“Drug dealing in any part of the community affects the quality of life in all parts of the community,” added City Councilmember Vincent Gentile. “We can all rest easier knowing that these criminals have been caught, and that they will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
©2008 Community Newspaper Group
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