Authorities in New York City broke up a drug and gun ring with the arrest of eight people and seizure of more than $1 million in illicit drugs, officials said Tuesday.
The investigation into the drug gang was prompted by violence and drug sales in and around Rufus King Park in Jamaica, Queens, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said in a statement.
“We allege these men were significant drug and gun traffickers who were a grave threat to public safety as peddlers of death and addiction,” she said.
The eight men arrested were identified as: Adrian Escobar, a.k.a. King Mango, 33, leader of the group; Junior Escobar, 20; Jose Escobar, 26; Jonathan Fernandez, 31; Joseph Fernandez, 33; Jonathan Suarez, also 33; Juan Escobar, 18; and 43-year-old Manuel Gomez.
Jose, Juan and Junior Escobar are brothers; Adrian Escobar is their cousin. Jonathon and Joseph Fernandez are brothers.
They are all charged with various drug crimes.
During the takedown, authorities seized various firearms, three pounds of cocaine, fentanyl, Oxycodone and Adderall pills, psilocybin mushrooms and $67,000 in cash, among other items, authorities said.
Undercover law enforcement officers purchased cocaine and ecstasy from one of the suspects 40 times and handguns from three others, Katz’s office said.
NYPD Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell said the suspects’ actions “showed a callous disregard for human life.”
“The NYPD’s fight against the trafficking of illegal guns and illicit narcotics in our city is at the forefront of our public-safety mission,” she said.