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Human Trafficking Busted in Spanish Harlem!!

Author: Elizabeth Hart
Column: No Column
Date: 2013-03-04 14:12:26

Eduardo Sanchez and his wife Elsa, have reason to rest easy today. Their East Harlem apartment building had been overrun by Los Locos-123, a Maras cell operating in the neighborhood. Thanks to the efforts of the NYPD the Sanchez family can rest easy.  An undercover raid on the Locos’ operation in their building resulted in the seizure of more than 11 kilos of cocaine and 10 kilos of heroin at a street value of over $5 million. Other items found in the cache were a sizeable arsenal and over $10 million in cash.

The operation also resulted in the largest bust to date of a human trafficking and prostitution ring in Manhattan. Over 25 young women were found held in deplorable conditions where they were forced to work in the sex trade. All of the women will find support through various partnerships the city has with local charities, churches, and community organizations.

Despite the success of the operation, no arrests were made. Police sources said that the Locos had engaged officers in a firefight after being asked to surrender their weapons. SWAT was on hand to diffuse the situation promptly. Thanks to the efforts of Sergeant Kenneth Phillips, who coordinated the operation, there were no residents, victims or officers were hurt. Sergeant Phillips will be honored at a ceremony next week at Police Plaza where he is expected to receive the NYPD Medal of Honor for his extraordinary efforts and successful conclusion to a complex operation, an NYPD spokesperson said.

The Locos gang had been plaguing the neighborhood for years with its activities. It’s only been since its association with the Maras that the problem had escalated from a minor band of thugs and petty crooks to an organization bent on subjugating and terrorizing the neighborhood. For the Sanchez family, the bust means a safer home for them and their three children.