48 indicted in connection with massive drug trafficking ring in Harlem

Forty-eight people were charged this week in connection with a massive drug trafficking ring in West Harlem that operated on the “most violent” street in Manhattan and often recruited teenagers for sales, prosecutors said.

The charges stem from a January 2019 investigation into narcotics – mostly crack cocaine – trafficking in part of the neighborhood, around 135th and 136th Streets between Amsterdam Avenue and Riverside Drive, according to Manhattan prosecutors.

The crew – called the “Main Event” and run by ringleader Andrew McFaline – was in part a family affair, with many of the members being related by birth or marriage, according to prosecutors.

The organization often recruited teenagers as young as 15 to carry out drug sales and other acts of violence, the prosecutor’s office said.

Genuel Morel was charged on September 9, 2021. Kevin C. Downs for the New York Post

“These individuals are believed to be running a 24-hour drug trafficking ring in an area of ​​West Harlem plagued by narcotic violence and drug-related overdoses,” Prosecutor Cyrus Vance said in a statement. “In fact, only one block of their operational area, West 135th Street between Broadway and Riverside Drive, was recently rated by the NYPD as the most violent in Manhattan, fueled not least by this highly structured criminal organization.”

“Now this close collaboration between the NYPD and the Violent Criminal Corporations Division of my office will disrupt the organization’s ability to pump drugs into the streets of our communities,” Vance said.

Two 2019 fatal overdoses were confirmed that were due to sales by the organization, according to prosecutors.

Two members of the network, Reynor Sanchez and Jayden Hernandez, were allegedly involved in a July 2020 shootout in which they fired two rounds from a .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol at a rival.

Jayden HernandezJayden Hernandez was allegedly involved in a July 2020 shootout.Kevin C. Downs for the New York Post

And three other members, brothers Christopher and Ruben Harvis and Jesus Pizzini, were charged in connection with a violent knife stabbing that same month during a narcotics field dispute, prosecutors said.

According to prosecutors, police officers found more than $ 4,000 in cash and 674 cracked vials in her car during the arrest.

In the course of the investigation, more than US $ 100,000 in cash had been seized through various arrests, said Deputy District Attorney Kaitrin Roberts.

Kenneth MoraKenneth Mora is an alleged member of the Main Event. Kevin C. Downs for the New York Post

McFaline split operations into six designated locations, each run by managers who ran customer lines, employed street vendors, cooks, drivers, security guards and other staff, the prosecutor’s office said.

The Harvis brothers managed a customer line on 135th Street from Amsterdam to Broadway, while Pizzini, Miguel Cotto, Jerelle Dunn, Daniel Marquis Velazquez and Jordan Torres each acted as managers of their own set locations, prosecutors said.

Wiretapping conducted during the investigation showed the defendants were selling drugs around the clock – and sometimes selling $ 10,000 worth of narcotics in a few hours, Roberts said.

Jerelle DunnJerelle Dunn is an alleged manager of one of Main Event’s drug trafficking locations. Kevin C. Downs for the New York Post

Prosecutors said some of the defendants discussed their alleged deals over social media and text messages – including videos and photos showing cash, diamond jewelry and firearms.

They talked shop at least once on calls from the state prison.

All of the defendants were charged with fourth-degree conspiracy, according to prosecutors. Others were charged with attempted second degree murder, first degree assault and attempted assault, and possession of a second degree weapon.

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