A reputed associate of the Crips street gang in Hempstead is facing felony charges after Nassau County police found 10 guns, 57 Ecstasy pills, and nine grams of crack cocaine in a home he allegedly used as part of a drug operation, officials said.
Ronald Bishop, 34, was arrested Thursday and charged with 16 offenses, including multiple weapon and drug possession counts, police said.
He pleaded not guilty Friday afternoon at his arraignment at First District Court in Hempstead and was ordered held on $500,000 bond or $250,000 cash bail.
Special Investigations Squad detectives executed a search warrant on a Jefferson Place address around 5 p.m. Thursday, seizing multiple guns and drugs from Bishop’s first-floor bedroom, police said.
Among the firearms found in the house: two stolen, loaded, .38-caliber Smith & Wesson handguns; a loaded Kimber pistol; a loaded Sentri Arms assault rifle, a Winchester shotgun; a Specter 9-millimeter “machine pistol” with its serial number defaced; a loaded Taurus .380-caliber handgun, a loaded 357 Astra revolver, also with its serial number defaced; and a high-capacity magazine, officials said.
Detectives also found the Ecstasy pills and crack, along with scales and other drug paraphernalia, police said.
Bishop has an extensive arrest history dating back 14 years, police said. His criminal record includes convictions for drug possession, records show.
He was arrested on an attempted murder charge following the September 2012 fatal shooting of Torrance Maye, 36, of Hempstead, police said, but records do not indicate how the case was resolved.
Bishop’s attorney, Eliot Bloom of Mineola, said Bishop denies the allegations made in the most recent case.
“He did not live at the premises where the guns and drugs were found, and he was not present at that location at the time of the search,” Bloom said after Bishop’s arraignment Friday.
At a news conference, Inspector Keechant Sewell, commanding officer of the department’s major case bureau, said the investigation was sparked by community complaints, “and we applaud the community for coming forward with these concerns.”
For years, police have been hindered in their efforts to solve major cases in gang-plagued parts of the municipality because of a social prohibition on “snitching,” or speaking to police.
Asked whether Bishop’s arrest represented a turning point with regards to community cooperation in the village, Sewell said: “For us, it’s a very positive sign.”
With Gary Dymski