AG: large drug network centered in Albany busted

The state Attorney General's office announced today that a team of law enforcement agencies busted 52 people allegedly involved in a drug operation that's centered in Albany's South End neighborhood and associated with the notorious Albany gang Original Gangsta Killas (OGK).

"This investigation has shut down a major network of gang members responsible for the sale of illegal drugs and possession of dangerous weapons in our neighborhoods," said AG Eric Schneiderman in a statement. The AG's office says the operation was trafficking "massive quantities" of cocaine, heroin, and prescription painkillers.

The AG's office says the investigation helped, at least temporarily, short circuit the cycle of violent retaliation between the city's gangs:

Richard Gibbs (aka "50 Cent"), was one of the main subjects of this investigation. Back in February, he was murdered in the South End of Albany by a rival gang. Following that incident, [Organized Crime Task Force] investigators were informed about additional retaliation over authorized wiretaps. This allowed investigators to intercept the gun that was intended to be used in the retaliation attempt. The increasing violence on the streets made it necessary for OCTF to move quickly on this case before there was any more bloodshed. [That link is to a TU story about the shooting. Contrary to the AG's press release, Gibbs was killed this past November. The APD press release about the November shooting is after the jump.]

Of the 52 people charged, 39 are from the immediate Capital Region (4 of them alleged "major traffickers"): 22 from Albany; 9 from Troy; 3 from Schenectady; 2 from Rensselaer; 1 from Watervliet; 1 from East Greenbush; 1 from Saratoga Springs. The network allegedly stretched from NYC, through the Hudson Valley, and into Vermont.

Drugs, gangs, and the accompanying violence are incredibly corrosive to communities, so it's great to see networks like this taken down.

But these sorts of stories also have a whack-a-mole aspect to them. Sure, this group of people has been temporarily neutralized, but there always seems to be someone ready to fill the void. That's not a reason to stop taking out these networks -- though it suggests the solution to the problem is a lot broader and more varied.

Tangent: When there's a huge bust like this, does the street price of the drugs being dealt increase? I-87 is like a conveyor belt of drugs into this area (seriously, law enforcement agencies basically just wait at the I-787 interchange for the stuff to roll in). We're curious about how long it takes for the market to react.

Earlier on AOA: Pot prices around New York State
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APD: Fatal shooting on Fourth Ave (November 29, 2011)
Albany police are investigating a homicide early this morning in the area of Fourth Avenue and Clinton Street.
The 25 year old male victim was shot while driving his car on Fourth Avenue just after 1:00 a.m. After being shot the victim and his vehicle struck a front porch in front of 105 Fourth Avenue and continued on eastbound before hitting and coming to rest on a light pole at Fourth Avenue and South Pearl Street.
Richard Gibbs of Rutland Street was treated at the scene for a gunshot wound to his upper body. He was transported to Albany Medical Center where he was later pronounced dead.
No suspect information is available at this time.
Detectives and officers canvassed the neighborhood for witnesses and evidence this morning.

Comments

what recession??? now there are a large amount of black-market job openings in albany...

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