Brooklyn rapper Ronald “Ra Diggs” Herron, 28, was indicted on Oct. 6 for running a murderous drug crew responsible for much of the crack and heroin in Boerum Hill’s Gowanus Houses — the same day his latest rap hit stores.
Brooklyn federal prosecutors said Herron was one of nine suspects facing narcotic trafficking and firearm offenses that could land each of them 10 years to life in prison. Prosecutors cracked the ring last Wednesday, when Herron and his associates were taken into custody.
The arrests mark the end of a four-year drug probe at the Gowanus Houses. Investigators say they made 65 undercover drug buys from members of Herron’s crew during the course of their investigation.
Once they had enough evidence, they executed search warrants of the crew’s homes, finding guns and more drugs.
Weapons and a bulletproof vest were found in Herron’s home, said U.S. attorney Loretta Lynch.
“The charges and arrests have disrupted a prolific drug trafficking crew that operated for years and victimized an entire housing development,” Lynch said.
Prosecutors said Herron often bragged about his criminal deeds on YouTube and Twitter.
In the videos, he sported the armor police recovered and was seen shooting off his guns at a firing range. He also boasted that he ordered someone’s assassination from his hospital bed and couldn’t be convicted of a murder he allegedly committed in 2002 because witnesses wouldn’t testify against him.
Its believed Herron’s crew is responsible for committing four murders over the last several years, but none of them are currently facing homicide charges, prosecutors said.
Herron’s associates arrested Wednesday include Musa “Slim” Marshall, 25, Joseph “Rizzle” Randolph, 24, Tyhe “Guy in the Bushes” Walker, 29, and 48-year-old matriarch of the gang, Verdreea Olmstead, who went by the nickname “Auntie.”
When Herron was not running his drug crew, he was an aspiring rapper who spit rhymes with members of Murda Team and rising hip-hop star Waka Flocka Flame.
Flame used some of Herron’s rhymes on his new “Flockaveli” album, which came out the same day the would-be drug kingpin was busted, according to the website www.hiphopdx.com.
Cops bust drug “Ma”
Fifty-seven-year-old Linda Eccleston was indicted in Brooklyn Criminal Court on Oct. 8 for a series of brazen drug offenses — including selling crack in broad daylight outside a Crown Heights store where she regularly “shopped.”
Prosecutors from Kings County District Attorney Charles Hynes’ office said that Eccleston, a resident of Nostrand Avenue between Parkside and Clarkson avenues, was a fixture outside the Mai Discount Store on Kingston Avenue and was even lovingly referred to by many in the neighborhood as “Ma.”
Yet those in narcotic circles knew that “Ma” was allegedly making a killing selling crack, which she stashed both inside and around the store people easily found her standing outside of.
Investigators said Eccleston freely sold drugs in front of the store between Dean Street and Bergen Avenue between April and October.
When cops finally busted her, they executed two search warrants — on the store, where they found the drugs, and at her home, where they found zip lock bags, a scale and a razor blade with cocaine residue on it, according to court papers.
Eccleston is facing drug sale charges that could land her 15 years in prison, prosecutors said.
Attempts to reach her attorney were unsuccessful by Friday night.
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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