Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor
Bridget G. Brendan, New York City’s special narcotics prosecutor, and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly on Friday announced the arrests of eight drug traffickers who allegedly sold illegal narcotics and prescription drugs in Canarsie,
Sales took place in and around a tire shop at East 108th Street and Stanley Avenue, inside several nearby apartments and in lobbies of buildings within the Breukelen Houses, a New York City Housing Authority complex. One defendant is also charged with selling a firearm.
The NYPD’s Brooklyn South Narcotics Division launched the undercover investigation in April 2012 after community complaints about an open-air drug market in the area, where hand-to-hand pill sales could be seen taking place in broad daylight. During the course of the probe, the defendants made 45 sales of cocaine, heroin and prescription drugs, including approximately 1,000 pills of Percocet and Vicodin, for a total of approximately $32,000, according to the charges.
On Thursday afternoon, detectives conducted searches of the tire shop and several apartments, including two apartments in the Breukelen Houses. Police seized 300 grams of cocaine with a street value of approximately $20,000, as well as quantities of heroin and marijuana and more than $5,000 in cash.
In addition to the eight drug traffickers, police arrested six more defendants on drug possession charges stemming from the searches for a total of 14 arrests.
One defendant, Thomas Venetar, allegedly sold prescriptions drugs from behind the counter of the tire shop, Pito’s Flat Fix, and also appeared to store drugs there. In one sale on July 27, the shop’s owner, Henry Caceres, could be seen handing Percocet pills to Venetar, who then sold the pills to the undercover officer, according to police.
Additionally, Venetar and another defendant, Bruce Anderson, allegedly sold prescription drugs and cocaine in front of the shop and in a parking lot beside it on more than a dozen occasions.
Another defendant, Lisandro Lizardo, also faces acting in concert charges for allegedly assisting Venetar in a sale of Vicodin at a dry cleaning business on Oct. 20. Lizaro is charged in a special narcotics criminal complaint.
Sales also took place in private apartments in the area, according to police. On Oct. 12, defendant Eladio Rosario allegedly sold a .357 Magnum revolver from his home at 87 Louisiana Ave., along with a quantity of cocaine for a total of $2,050. Rosario is also charged in an indictment with conducting several of the largest narcotics sales in the case.
Police say the majority of the pill sales in the case were conducted by defendant Rafael Castillo and Anderson, who allegedly sold undercover officers Percocet and Vicodin, as well as cocaine. The largest sale pill sale was 148 Vicodin pills for $740 on Aug. 16.