About 500 federal, state and local police on Thursday converged on the town of Newburgh, about 50 miles north of New York City, to round up gang members of the Bloods and the Latin Kings, who authorities say have been responsible for a good chunk of crime and drug trafficking in the city along the Hudson River.
Law enforcement agents and officers raided dozens of homes, and as of Thursday, 23 of 78 gang members named in federal indictments had been arrested. About 34 were already in custody, authorities said. Newburgh has a population of about 29,000.
“In a city as small as Newburgh and as violent—there have already been four homicides this year, all directly related to gang violence—these arrests will have a substantial effect on the crime rate in the city,” FBI special agent Jim Gagliano, who who headed a 16-month, FBI-led Safe Streets Task Force investigation said in a statement.
The FBI said the task force had made nearly 100 drug buys totaling more than five kilos of crack cocaine.
“The majority of these buys were done while we recorded video and audio,” Gagliano said. “Not only did we get the subject’s voice on tape, we also see the exchange.”