Cops: Three men, guns and drugs netted in Nassau sweep

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Three suspected gang members were arrested and illegal weapons, drugs, drug paraphernalia and cash confiscated in a collaborative effort between the Nassau County probation department and First Precinct Special Patrols, police said Wednesday.

Dubbed Operation Nightwatch, the Feb. 4 sweep involved 12 officers from the two agencies, who visited 22 homes of members of the Crips or Bloods street gangs, said Lt. Kevin Smith of the public information office.

"Generally, this is a well-planned activity between two departments making sure people are in compliance with their probation requirements," Smith said.

Police said the arrests include:

Merlyn Benitez, 150 W. Fulton Ave., Roosevelt, allegedly a member of the Crips, for possession of a weapon. He also was found to have a loaded .38 caliber revolver, police said, and $17,975 in cash.

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Bryant Eaddy, 33 W. Roosevelt Ave., Roosevelt, allegedly a member of the Crips, for two counts of possession of a weapon and possession of marijuana. Police said they found Eaddy with a loaded 9-mm pistol, a gravity knife, a drug scale and packaging material and $1,255 in cash.

Darius Malone, 122 W. Roosevelt Ave., Roosevelt, allegedly a member of the Bloods, for possession of a forged instrument. He also was found to have four counterfeit $20 bills and seven small bags of marijuana, police said.

Even though just three arrests were made, Smith said, the sweep is considered a success for a variety of reasons.

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"These guys are major players in gangs, and we got two loaded handguns off the street, along with money that we think is the proceeds of illegal activity," he said.

The sweep ended up in charges against three men "whose backgrounds involve violent crime and drug sales, as well," he said.

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