Call them the Vinegar Hill gang.
Police arrested 14 suspected drug traffickers in a bust at the Farragut Houses last Thursday, after a 10-month investigation and more than 100 undercover purchases of crack cocaine and heroin, authorities said. Cops also say they recovered three guns along with crack, heroin, and marijuana in the shakedown, which a prosecutor said will help make the public housing complex safer for residents.
“The arrests we announce today shut down a major supplier of cocaine to gangs that traffic narcotics in Farragut Houses, and removed guns readily available to spawn violence and chaos in this community,” said prosecutor Bridget Brennan. “Guns and drugs threaten the safety and security of too many of our city’s public housing residents.”
Police started their investigation last March after complaints from residents about drug activity, and following incidents of gang-related violence in the area. The suspects allegedly conducted their sales in building lobbies, near the playground, and out of nearby businesses, including a Chinese restaurant and deli on York Street, investigators said. They also frequently rotated the locations where they stored the narcotics in order to evade law enforcement, cops said.
One of the suspects, known as “Shottie,” even stole $1,000 from an undercover officer who was trying buy drugs from him, officials said.
Police searched four Farragut Houses apartments on Thursday looking for suspects. One of the main alleged traffickers, called “Slubs,” was in a different apartment and heard the commotion. He tried to escape by jumping from a second floor window, but landed at the feet of a waiting housing authority police officer who dutifully cuffed him, police said. Prosecutors then obtained a search warrant from the apartment he leapt from and claimed to have found more crack cocaine as well as a scale and other paraphernalia used to package the drugs.