Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe announced the drug sweep Monday after a six-month undercover investigation dubbed 'Operation Say No More', targeting a network of narcotics dealers.
22 suspects, ranging in age from 20 to 61 and including two brothers, are charged with selling cocaine and other controlled substances to undercover police officers in the Hillburn section of Ramapo and the Stag Hill section of Mahwah, New Jersey.
"This initiative is another step in our ongoing campaign to stop drug-dealing and drug-based violence in our neighborhoods," said Zugibe. The arrests should serve as a warning to others that the law enforcement community is committed to continue to employ aggressive and innovative tactics to track down and prosecute dealers and other dangerous criminals who seek to terrorize our communities."
Among those arrested are brothers Elam Yisrael, 38, of Jersey City and Enaim Yisrae, 37, of New York City, alleged to have been the main suppliers to four separate cocaine distribution gangs in Rockland County.
Also arrested was Peter Bowens, 24, of Hillburn, New York. Authorities say Bowens was the alleged main cocaine distributor in the Village of Hillburn.
The investigation began in May, when detectives began conducting undercover buys and "buyer beware" operations, which included extensive physical surveillance, court-authorized eavesdropping and search warrants.
Information was developed and conversations were intercepted discussing street locations for the deliveries of cocaine in Hillburn and Mahwah. Drug suppliers and runners were identified by undercover detectives and by uniformed officers during routine patrols.
The defendants are variously charged with numerous counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, a class "B" Felony and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, a class "B" Felony, each punishable by up to nine years in prison.