59 Arrested After Drug Investigation in Queens
By TRYMAINE LEE, NY Times
The police arrested 59 people on Wednesday in a massive drug sweep of the Queensbridge Houses in Long Island City, Queens, the police said.
Officers recovered a cache of weaponry and related items, including a .38-caliber and a .45-caliber handgun, a Tech-9 machine gun and a bulletproof vest; about 138 small plastic bags of crack cocaine; 400 loose pieces of crack; 350 vials of heroin; and 100 bags of marijuana, the police said.
Officials said the sweep ended a seven-month investigation into violence and drug operations at Queensbridge, a 26-building complex that is the largest public housing project in the city. It has 3,142 apartments, according to the New York City Housing Authority.
The people arrested on Wednesday were charged with various drug and weapons charges, the police said.
The total surpassed the number of people arrested during a similar sweep in February 2005. That roundup, after an 11-month sting operation, led to 37 arrests.
Queensbridge, which is bordered by the Queensboro Bridge, 21st Street, 40th Avenue and Vernon Boulevard, was the largest public housing complex in the United States when it opened on Oct. 25, 1939.
At the time, public officials thought it was the answer to the city’s severe housing shortage.
The buildings’ designer said Queensbridge’s seemingly endless rows of red-brick six-story buildings were built in a Y shape to ensure the economical use of the 47 acres on which the 26 buildings sit.
Photo from Wired New York