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Crime in Queens parks leads to gang takedown, NYPD says

In a statement Thursday, March 9, 2017, Queens

In a statement Thursday, March 9, 2017, Queens DA Richard Brown said an NYPD gang bust with aid from his office led to the arrest of alleged gang members in connection with assaults and narcotics dealing. Credit: Yeong-Ung Yang

A yearlong investigation of Always Banging Kings, a street gang cops said carried out a reign of terror in a number of Queens parks, led to the Wednesday arrests of 14 people — part of an effort to quell violence and drug dealing in Jackson Heights, officials said Thursday.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement that the investigation netted three purported gang members allegedly responsible for an assault on a customer at a fast-food restaurant, as well as nearly a dozen alleged drug dealers accused of selling undercover detectives “everything from marijuana to prescription opioids dangerously mixed with fentanyl.”

Cops were tipped off last spring in part by news reports of the gang activity, including beatings and stabbings at Travers Park at 34th Avenue and 77th Street.

After making undercover drug buys at the park, police with the NYPD’s Queens North gang unit got wiretap authorization with the help of the Queens District Attorney’s Office. Investigators were then able to listen in on the phone calls of gang members late last year about a planned attack on rival Latin Kings gang members, said Lt. Joseph Barone, commander of the gang unit.

As a result of the wiretap, officers were able to prevent the attack by arresting four Always Banging Kings members beforehand on Dec. 4, and confiscating two firearms, Barone said.

Wednesday’s take down of ABK, also known on the street as Any Body Killer, led to the seizure of $55,000 in cash, vehicles, and cocaine.

Those arrested were charged with narcotics sales. Police said that among the drugs being sold at Travers Park were pills containing fentanyl, a substance said to be as much as 25 times more potent then heroin.


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