Cocaine and Crack Cocaine Sales Made Inside Grant Houses, Near Two Schools

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. announced today the indictments of 11 individuals operating in and around the Grant Houses, located in the Harlem area of Manhattan.[1] The individuals principally sold cocaine and crack cocaine, with less frequent heroin sales. Many of the felony drug sales occurred in the vicinity of P.S. 125, an elementary school located at 425 West 123rd Street, and I.S. 286, an intermediate school located at 509 West 129th Street.

The 10-month investigation, code-named “Grant Denied,” was a joint endeavor between the Manhattan District Attorney’s Homicide Investigation Unit and the New York City Police Department. The investigation was the result of community complaints regarding criminal activity in the area which included the distribution of street-level narcotics, as well as a number of drug-related shootings and robberies.

“Drug dealing threatens the safety of our children and pushes families and businesses out of our communities,” said District Attorney Vance. “This Office is committed to improving the quality of life for the approximately 4,000 residents of the Grant Houses, and will continue to pursue investigations leading to these types of serious felony cases. I want to thank the NYPD for its partnership in these arrests and indictments, and in driving crime down across our borough.”

New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said: “Crime in public housing was down by 14 percent citywide last year, and down by 26 percent in Manhattan’s Grant Houses in 2009 because of operations like ‘Grant Denied,’ in which NYPD undercover officers documented the sale of heroin and cocaine in the housing development over the last six months. Officers also seized a handgun and took 11 accused drug dealers to jail. We launched the New Year reminding dealers that if they return to public housing to sell drugs we will return to arrest them.”

The defendants in “Grant Denied” were indicted in four separate indictments, including conspiracy indictments against the “M-Set Grant Houses Organization,” and the “Grant Houses Organization,” and stand alone indictments against PETER RODRIGUEZ, and DUWAN MILLER.

DUWAN MILLER was indicted for 3 counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Second Degree and one count of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree. All of MILLER’s charged drug sales in the Second Degree were of powder cocaine to an undercover police officer in the vicinity of the Grant Houses. The drug sale in the Third Degree involved the sale of 51 packets of heroin with the brand name “Sugar Hill.”

The indictment against the “Grant Houses Organization” charges 3 defendants with Conspiracy in the Second Degree and includes charges of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Second Degree, Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, and Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in or Near School Grounds.

LAWRENCE FRANKLIN, RASHEED MINGUES, and BASHIR TRIGGS were all charged with Conspiracy in the Second Degree. The “Grant Houses Organization” primarily sold crack cocaine in clear plastic twists in the vicinity of 1315 Amsterdam Avenue which is located inside the Grant Houses. According to the indictment, the “Grant Houses Organization” sold wholesale amounts of crack cocaine and were also engaged in the street-level distribution of crack cocaine within the Grant Houses. Defendant FRANKLIN was also indicted for Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Second Degree for selling more than a half-ounce of crack cocaine to an undercover police officer in the Grant Houses. MINGUES was also indicted for Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree and Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in or Near School Grounds for selling crack cocaine to an undercover police officer in the Grant Houses. TRIGGS was also indicted for Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree and Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in or Near School Grounds for selling crack cocaine to an undercover police officer in the Grant Houses.

The indictment against the “M-Set Grant Houses Organization” charges 6 defendants with Conspiracy in the Second Degree and includes charges of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree, Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Second Degree, Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, and Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in or Near School Grounds, Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree. DONNIE FIGUEROA, CAREY GRACE, LEONARD JACKINS, HOZIE ROWELL, AARON RICE, and ERIC SANDERS were all charged with Conspiracy in the Second Degree. According to the indictment, the “M-Set Grant Houses Organization” sold crack cocaine in clear plastic twists, plastic baggies, and vials in the vicinity of 3170 Broadway, which is located inside the Grant Houses. They also sold crack cocaine in the vicinity of 75 La Salle St., which is located inside the Grant Houses. According to the indictment, the “M-Set Grant Houses Organization” sold both wholesale amounts of crack cocaine and were also engaged in the street-level distribution of crack cocaine within the Grant Houses.

As charged in the indictment, members of the “M-Set Grant Houses Organization” refer to themselves as either “Murder-Set” or “Money Comes First.” A number of the defendants communicated through public MySpace accounts and their profiles included an “M-Set” ticker, photos depicting members of the “M-Set Grant Houses Organization” flashing Crips-related gang signs, and a newspaper article related to a 2005 investigation and indictment against the Grant Houses “M-Set” Crips, which included some of these defendants.

Defendant FIGUEROA was also indicted for five counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree and five counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in or Near School Grounds for selling crack cocaine to an undercover police officer in the Grant Houses.

Defendant GRACE was also indicted for two counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree and two counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in or Near School Grounds for selling crack cocaine to an undercover police officer in the Grant Houses.

Defendant JACKINS was also indicted for Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree, two counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Second Degree, and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree for selling crack cocaine to an undercover police officer in the Grant Houses. One of the drug sales to the undercover police officer was for over two ounces of crack cocaine.

Defendant ROWELL was also indicted for Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fourth Degree. ROWELL was in possession of 20 vials of powder cocaine.

Defendant RICE was also indicted for Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, two counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, and Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree. The weapons charge stems from the execution of a court-authorized search warrant on his apartment, in which RICE was found to be in possession of two loaded firearms, a .380 caliber Hi Point which was operable, and a .380 caliber Jennings which was inoperable.

Defendant SANDERS was also indicted for Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree and two counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Second Degree for selling crack cocaine to an undercover police officer in the vicinity of the Grant Houses. SANDERS is also charged with the drug sale to an undercover police officer for over two ounces of crack cocaine.

District Attorney Vance thanked NYPD Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, Chief of the Organized Crime Control Bureau Anthony Izzo, Chief JoAnne Jaffe of the Housing Bureau, Chief of the Gang Division Robert Boyce, Lieutenant Keith Loughran, Lieutenant Edward Barry, Sergeant Kevin Mulqueen of the Bronx Gang Squad, Detectives from the Bronx Gang Squad, Lieutenant Jason Savino of the Housing VIPER Unit, various Undercover Police Officers from the Gang Division, and members of the 32nd Precinct Anti-Crime Unit, the 26th Precinct Detectives Squad and PSA 6.

Assistant District Attorney Eric Arnone of the Homicide Investigation Unit presented the cases to the Grand Jury under the supervision of Christopher Conroy, Deputy Unit Chief of the Homicide Investigation Unit, and Assistant District Attorney Luke Rettler, Chief of the Homicide Investigation Unit. Chief Investigator Joseph Pennisi, Assistant Chief Terrance Mulderrig, and members of the Homicide Investigation Unit of the New York County District Attorney’s Office also participated in the investigation.
[1] The charges contained in the indictments are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


Defendant Information:

PETER RODRIGUEZ
DOB: 03/22/1986
ADDRESS: 545 West 158th Street
CHARGES:
-Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree-Class B Felony
-Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in or near School Grounds-Class B Felony

DUWAN MILLER
DOB: 03/22/1980
ADDRESS: Recently evicted from 3170 Broadway
CHARGES:
-Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Second Degree-Class A-II Felony (3 counts)
-Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree-Class B Felony

LAWRENCE FRANKLIN
DOB: 08/29/1980
ADDRESS: 3150 Broadway
CHARGES:
-Conspiracy in the Second Degree-Class B Felony
-Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Second Degree-Class A-II Felony

RASHEED MINGUES
DOB: 05/19/1979
ADDRESS: N/A
CHARGES:
-Conspiracy in the Second Degree-Class B Felony
-Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree-Class B Felony
-Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in or near School Grounds-Class B Felony

BASHIR TRIGGS
DOB: 02/05/1980
ADDRESS: 188 Saint Nicholas Avenue
CHARGES:
-Conspiracy in the Second Degree-Class B Felony
-Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree-Class B Felony
-Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in or near School Grounds-Class B Felony

DONNIE FIGUEROA
DOB: 05/28/1987
ADDRESS: 55 La Salle Street
CHARGES:
-Conspiracy in the Second Degree-Class B Felony
-Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree-Class B Felony (5 counts)
-Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in or near School Grounds-Class B Felony (5 counts)

CAREY GRACE
DOB: 11/27/1981
ADDRESS: 3170 Broadway

CHARGES:
-Conspiracy in the Second Degree-Class B Felony
-Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree-Class B Felony (2 counts)
-Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in or near School Grounds-Class B Felony (2 counts)

LEONARD JACKINS
DOB: 04/10/1987
ADDRESS: Incarcerated

CHARGES:
-Conspiracy in the Second Degree-Class B Felony
-Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree-Class A-I Felony
-Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Second Degree-Class A-II Felony (2 counts)
-Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree-Class B Felony

HOZIE ROWELL
DOB: 04/21/1977
ADDRESS: 501 East 165th Street
CHARGES:
-Conspiracy in the Second Degree-Class B Felony
-Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree-Class B Felony
-Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fourth Degree-Class C Felony

AARON RICE
DOB: 03/20/1992
ADDRESS: Incarcerated
CHARGES:
-Conspiracy in the Second Degree-Class B Felony
-Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree-Class C Felony (violent and armed)
-Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree-Class B Felony
-Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree-Class B Felony (2 counts)

ERIC SANDERS
DOB: 07/30/1988
ADDRESS: 231 West 149th Street
CHARGES:
-Conspiracy in the Second Degree-Class B Felony
-Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree-Class A-I Felony
-Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Second Degree-Class A-II Felony (2 counts)

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