May 4, 2020 By Michael Dorgan
Eight men who allegedly sold illegal drugs and firearms in Southeast Queens have been busted by police.
Seven of the men were arrested last week and another individual was arrested in March, the Queens District Attorney’s office announced Saturday.
The suspects were nabbed as part of an 18-month joint operation by the NYPD and the Queens District Attorney’s office.
They stand accused of selling fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine along with 11 firearms, including multiple high capacity magazines and several rounds of ammunition.
According to the charges, police began investigating the alleged criminal activity of Steven Campbell, 37, of Jamaica, in November 2018 as part of an effort called Operation Blast Off.
Campbell was allegedly part of a local crew and sold drugs to an undercover detective on several occasions outside a gym in Queens. The deals took place inside a vehicle outside the premises.
Police later searched Campbell’s home and apartments associated with alleged fellow crew members Chad Taylor, 40, Samuel Wilson, 40, and Carlton Powell, 22, where they found various amounts of cocaine.
In November 2019, a separate investigation called Operation Ace in the Hole commenced and police infiltrated a second crew of alleged drug traffickers. The crew included Charles Gillespie,19, of Jamaica, and two other defendants who allegedly sold cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl. Police allege that the gang also sold firearms that were being supplied by their drug dealer.
Gillespie allegedly sold six firearms, multiple high capacity magazines and several rounds of ammunition to undercover cops between February 5, 2020 and March 16, 2020. The guns ranged in price from $500 to $1,100 each. Gillespie reached out to his customer base with weekly offerings of new merchandise from the weekly deliveries, prosecutors said.
Police carried out a search of Gillespie’s home and found cocaine, cash, a weighing scale containing cocaine residue, and a single 9 mm bullet.
The investigations overlapped when police ascertained that both crews were being supplied by the same individual.
Campbell is charged with conspiracy in the second degree and criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree. He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted
Gillespie was charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance, conspiracy and criminal sale of a firearm and faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
Among the other defendants charged was a 17-year-old unnamed female. She is charged – in relation to the second investigation – with the criminal sale of a controlled substance in the first and third degree and conspiracy in the second degree. She faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
Other defendants include Benjamin Williams, 38, and Javial Davis, 28.
One additional individual is still being sought by the police.