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Early-Morning Drug Bust Nets 14 On Long Island

ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- FBI agents and local police officers were out early on Long Island Wednesday and made what was described as a major drug bust.

Police descended on an apartment complex on Old Mill Court in the Town of Rockville Centre in a pre-dawn drug bust and raid. Fourteen members of an alleged crack cocaine distribution ring were arrested.  Four of them are suspected Bloods gang members, authorities said.

"We've had armed robberies. We've had shootings. We've had two homicides and an attempted homicide in the last three years. We have other individuals we've arrested for homicides. We've taken four homicide suspects out of here in the last year," said Chuck Gennario, Rockville Centre Police Commissioner.

The bust was made after a four-month joint investigation by the FBI, Rockville Centre Police Department and Nassau County Police Department.  During that investigation, authorities used court-ordered wiretaps, which they said revealed purchases and sales of narcotics by and from members of the organization.

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"This morning was the result of a narcotics investigation. These people have been dealing drugs in this community and in the surrounding communities for quite a long time."

Rockville Centre Arrests
Apartment complex in Rockville Centre where police arrested several suspected gang members on June 1, 2011 in a pre-dawn raid. (credit: Mona Rivera/1010 WINS)

Resident Andrea Robinson welcomed the news of the bust. She said her son was shot to death three years ago at a party in a senseless act of violence.

"My son was killed around here for nonsense. People know what's going on around here," she said.

Another man was thankful for the raid.

"You hate to see people go to jail, you hate to see peoples' families be disrupted but at the same time it's destroying our community," he said.

The courtyards behind the apartment complex, according to police, were known as "Iraq" and the drug-dealing suspects were known as "The Taliban."

The 14 people arrested have been identified as: Latee Smith, 31; Jamel Richardson-Banks, 28; Neville Hunter, 30; Rasharid Agee, 34; Alphonso Burke, 42; Chanell Duncan, 32; Dion Evans, 40; Crystal Jamison, 25; Lameek C. McGhee, 32; Ramsey Milton, 33; Eddie Richardson, 47; Angelo Taylor, 37; Valerie Walker, 58; Michael Wright, 49.

If convicted of the drug distribution conspiracy charge, each defendant faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Is enough being done to fight drug gangs? Sound off in our comments section below…

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