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Drug Gang Operated Highly Sophisticated Scheme to Charge Street Dealers Rent and to Control Their Drug Dealing Activities


July 1994

Seventeen members of a Bronx gang have been indicted on federal charges of running a sophisticated operation that charged drug dealers rent to be allowed to sell heroin on street corners. (Seth Faison, "U.S. Says 17 Ran Murder Gang That Ruled Heroin Sales in Bronx," New York Times, 5/27/94, A1). Prosecutors say that since 1977, the gang has controlled drug trafficking in a small area of the Bronx by strictly enforcing where and during what hours a dealer could sell drugs. Authorities say that those who did not abide by the rules were tortured or killed. The gang, known by the initials C & C, grossed more than $100,000 a week through an intricate extortion scheme that targeted street corner drug dealers. The majority of the gang's income was earned through the extortion scheme, which is considered to carry a better risk-to-reward ratio than drug dealing.

C & C would actually assign dealers to designated spots. Some dealers paid a commission, and as their profits increased so did the rent they paid. Other dealers paid a flat fee, which averaged a few thousand a week, according to authorities.

Prosecutors say that some of the gang's control was gained through gestures to the community. Dealers were strictly forbidden to sell when children were on the way to and from school. The gang also imposed limits on the number of customers that could congregate on a corner at any one time.

The arrest of gang members has led to turf battles as others seek to fill the power vacuum left by the gang's absence. Inexplicably, prices for drugs have not fallen since the break up of the gang.