FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 27, 2015
Four Alleged Drug Dealers Indicted For Running Cocaine Delivery Service In Downtown Brooklyn
Allegedly Sold Drugs to Hundreds of Repeat Customers Over Course of Investigation;
More than 1 ½ Kilos With Street Value Up To $200,000 Recovered
Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson, together with New York City Police Commissioner William J. Bratton, today announced that three men and one woman have been indicted in connection with operating a cocaine delivery service in Downtown Brooklyn. It is alleged that customers called a shared cell phone to place an order for cocaine or crack cocaine, which was then delivered to the buyer at an agreed upon location in exchange for cash.
District Attorney Thompson said, “This alleged cocaine delivery ring had the audacity to sell crack cocaine right in the middle of the day and within the shadows of our courts. Thanks to the efforts of the NYPD and my prosecutors they are closed for business and will now be prosecuted in those same courts.”
Commissioner Bratton said, “Illegal narcotics, whether sold on the street or delivered to someone’s home, erode the quality of life in our neighborhoods. I want to thank the members of the Narcotics Borough Brooklyn North for working closely with the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office to remove these alleged drug dealers from our Brooklyn communities.”
The District Attorney identified the defendants as Francisco Frias, 32, of 549 39th Street, in Sunset Park, Brooklyn; his cousin, Mario Frias, 35, of 512 68th Street, in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn; Rafael Velasquez, 34, of 957 Willowbrook Road, Staten Island; and Victoria Rivera, 33, of 512 68th Street, in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. The defendants are variously charged in a 114-count indictment with second- and fourth-degree conspiracy, operating as a major trafficker, first-, second- third- fourth- and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, second- and third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, criminal sale of a controlled substance in or near school grounds, second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia, second- and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of a firearm.
Victoria Rivera was arraigned this morning before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Shawndya Simpson and her bail was continued at $300,000. Rafael Velasquez was expected to be arraigned this afternoon. Francisco Frias and Mario Frias are scheduled to be arraigned on April 29, 2015. All four of the defendants are scheduled to return to court on May 28, 2015. The three top defendants face 15 years to life in prison on the top count if convicted. Rivera faces up to 20 years in prison.
The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, between April 1, 2014 and April 1, 2015, in Downtown Brooklyn, as well as Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill and Boerum Hill, the defendants conspired to sell cocaine and crack cocaine, usually in $20, $40 and $140 bags. It is alleged that Francisco Frias was the leader of the crew and that his cousin, Mario Frias, and another man, Rafael Velasquez, worked as cocaine deliverymen. Victoria Rivera, who is Mario Frias’ wife, is charged with possession of a controlled substance.
It is alleged that the three male defendants shared a Toyota Prius and a cell phone to operate the drug delivery service. Specifically, Mario Frias worked three days a week and was paid $600 and Rafael Velasquez worked four days a week and was paid $1,000. Francisco Frias allegedly worked as a deliveryman as needed.
It is alleged that customers placed orders for cocaine and crack cocaine over the shared cell phone and whoever was on call answered the phone and drove the Toyota Prius to deliver the order. The ring allegedly filled about 25 orders a day, 365 days a year, between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m., to more than 100 repeat customers.
The District Attorney said that the investigation was conducted using undercover officers, as well as video and wiretap surveillance and a GPS tracking device which was placed on the Prius. The defendants were arrested on April 1, 2015, and search warrants executed subsequently led to the recovery of more than 1 ½ kilos of cocaine hidden under a bathroom vanity in the apartment of Mario Frias and Victoria Rivera. Also recovered were drug paraphernalia including a heat sealing device, a measuring cup with cocaine residue and scales. A search of the Toyota Prius, located in Staten Island, yielded 41 additional bags of cocaine and crack cocaine packaged for sale. A .25 caliber pistol was recovered from Velasquez’s residence on Staten Island.
The investigation was conducted by New York City Police Department Detective John Gamble, Narcotics Borough Brooklyn North, Major Case Unit under the supervision of Lieutenant William Buchanan, and the overall supervision of Inspector Joseph Kenny.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Nicholas Scott, of the District Attorney’s Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Tara Lenich, Deputy Chief for Investigations and Nicole Chavis, Chief, and the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney William E. Schaeffer, Chief of the District Attorney’s Investigations Division.
An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.