NEW YORK (Reuters) - Law enforcement authorities on Tuesday charged 16 suspects with being members of a drug trafficking ring that they said was selling heroin and cocaine across upstate New York.
The suspects, who were rounded up early on Tuesday, were charged with drug and firearms violations in a newly unsealed 172-count indictment that accused them of operating in and around Newburgh, about 65 miles (105 km) north of New York City.
A multi-agency task force used wiretaps, hidden cameras and physical surveillance during an investigation that began last spring, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said.
“The gang that supplied more than 200 daily customers is out of business,” Schneiderman said at a news briefing in New York’s Hudson Valley, where the alleged members of the so-called 600 Gang are charged with operating.
Seized along with the suspects were undisclosed amounts of heroin and cocaine, 2.2 pounds (one kg) of methamphetamine, 40 pounds (18 kg) of marijuana, three handguns, two shotguns and $36,000, prosecutors said.
“They were violent and they were armed, and this kind of an enterprise is not something they did casually,” Schneiderman said.
Each suspect faces up to 25 years in prison, he added.
Reporting by Peter Szekely; Editing by Scott Malone and Cynthia Osterman