41 Alleged Members of East Village and LES-Based Drug Rings Indicted

crimestopDaniel Maurer Campos Plaza

The District Attorney has indicted 41 alleged members of two East Village and Lower East Side drug trafficking rings. The rings, based out of Baruch Houses and Campos Plaza, sold and delivered crack and cocaine to customers throughout Manhattan, the D.A.’s office said.

Officials claim that 33 members of the “Blocc Boyz” — a composite of two gangs based in Baruch Houses, “Cash is King” and “Stack” — ran a distribution ring using car services to transport drugs to clients on the Upper West Side, Upper East Side, Midtown and the outer boroughs. Two of the defendants – Derrell Underwood, 30, and Gerald Espinal, 60 – are said to be livery drivers.

Four of the accused — Sean Steele, Jr., 25; Anthony Alvarez, 20; Adrian Rivera, 24; and Michael Austin Rodriguez, 24 — are said to be major traffickers, and are charged under the “Drug Kingpin” statute, a felony punishable by a life sentence in prison.


In a separate indictment, seven members of the “Money Boyz” gang operating out of Campos Plaza are accused of selling large quantities of cocaine, referred to variously as “sweaters,” “t-shirts,” “tickets,” turkey legs,” and “christina” throughout the document. Another is charged with conspiracy.

Undercover police officers have been buying cocaine from the Blocc Boyz since April 2010, according to indictments obtained by The Local. Charges against the Money Boyz and their alleged manager Christian or Christopher Slater, 23, date back to November 2011. In addition to the sting operation, police also monitored Instagram, Facebook and phone conversations for indications of criminal activity.

After the alleged traffickers were arrested at Campos Plaza yesterday, the housing development was “like a desert,” said Dereese Huff, president of the Campos Plaza Tenant Association. “When you do a raid everybody is scared and nervous,” she said, adding that drugs have been a problem for “plenty of years.”

Over the past 24 hours, police have carried out several search warrants at Campos and Baruch, recovering a Mercedez-Benz and other cars, jewelry, cash, heroin and methamphetamine, according to the office of District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance.

“Unbelievably, they made hundreds of thousands of dollars a year from this service at the same time they were living in city-subsidized housing as N.Y.C.H.A. residents,” said Mr. Vance in a statement.

The drug bust is part of a larger campaign to curtail violent gang-related criminal activity in the city. Last Friday, 63 members of three Manhattan gangs were indicted and charged with crimes ranging from murder to assault and gun trafficking, said the D.A.