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Daily Archives: May 15th, 2010

FBI agents prepare to raid apartment

NEWBURGH – Some 500 members of the Hudson Valley Safe Streets Task Force put a major dent in the Latin Kings and Bloods gangs in the City of Newburgh as they arrested a number of gang members and associates.

Federal indictments charged 60 members and associates of the Bloods gang and 18 members of the Latin Kings with violent crimes involving drug sales.

The FBI, US Marshals Service, state and local authorities coordinated the raids to put a major dent in the drug trade and violence in Newburgh.

The city has twice the general crime rate of the rest of New York and four times the violent crime rate, said Preet Bharara, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York.  He said the massive effort was conducted because the people of Newburgh “want their city back.”

“We took this action because children should be playing, not dying in the streets,” he said. “We took this action to send a clear message that if you join a gang or deal drugs or engage in violence in Newburgh, you are facing federal time now.”

Orange County District Attorney Frank Phillips and Sheriff Carl DuBois said the federal resources applied in this 18 month investigation dubbed “Operation Blood Drive” and “Operation Black Crown,” made the difference.

DuBois said the gang issue did not happen overnight and it won’t be resolved overnight.

“We need a protracted commitment from government to fund youth services and education to disrupt and to shortstop gang recruitment and its influences,” he said.

A total of 19 people were arrested Thursday. Forty-four of the defendants were already in state or federal custody. The remaining 15 are still being sought.

Phillips said Bharara, despite all of the other issues on his plate, has made Newburgh one of his priorities.