On Tuesday, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York confirmed eight people were arrested for their involvement in an “around-the-clock” crack cocaine-selling operation in Times Square.
The group of men are alleged to have sold crack around the NYC landmark area, sometimes bringing in over $10,000 a week from sales. The mission to take down the drug ring was dubbed “Ghostbusters,” and kicked off after a member of the Mac Ballers Bloods gang claimed his product was being sold by others, the New York Post reported.
"As alleged, the defendants operated a veritable 24-hour open-air bazaar for the sale of crack cocaine in Times Square,” said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss. "We recall the bad old days of a much seedier Times Square that was unwelcoming, and we are committed to working with our law enforcement partners to ensure that those days remain just a memory."
Peter C. Fitzhugh, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in New York, added that the crew of sellers worked in shifts “nearly around the clock” and “preyed on addictions and vulnerabilities of others.” The men, who range from age 32 to 43, have each been charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 280 grams and more of mixtures and substances containing a detectable amount of crack cocaine.
The charges the men are facing come with a minimum sentence of ten years in prison, and a maximum sentence of life in prison. As the ACLU notes, crack carries far harsher penalties than powder cocaine.