NY heroin dealers caught on Google Street View

Google's surveillance cameras caught drug dealers in Williamsburg stuffing heroin packages into a lock box hidden behind the store's sign

By Jamie Schram and Lorena Mongelli
The New York Post

NEW YORK — Earth to drug dealers - Google is watching!

Three brazen heroin dealers were captured in Google Street View images working their favorite Brooklyn drug corner, where they peddled their product to hipsters and other dope fiends, law-enforcement sources said yesterday.

Multiple images captured along Jackson Street and Kingsland Avenue by the search engine's ubiquitous camera car show the trio milling about in front of the Neighborhood Grocery - one of two East Williamsburg bodegas where they set up shop.

"A lot of people sell drugs in front of here. They have to clean up the streets. Children learn what they see," José Ruiz, 33, an employee of the Neighborhood Grocery, told The Post.

Across the street at Chela Grocery on Kingsland Avenue, manager Jose Inez said he would close the store from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. because "it was serving as a sanctuary for drug dealers."

"If you look at the neighborhood, there are a lot of drugs," Inez said. "You don't want your kids to walk around a neighborhood with drugs."

The suspects in the Google photo (above) - identified as Shaundell Dade in the coat, Jamel Pringle to his right and Jonathan Paulino to his left - were among seven dealers arrested yesterday in an NYPD undercover sting operation, said Prosecutor Bridget Brennan.

Six of them have been indicted on multiple counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance. The seventh will be charged and arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court.

The dealers were caught on surveillance video - taken by undercover cops using handheld cameras - stuffing heroin into a magnetic lockbox, which was then hidden behind a metal storefront sign at the Neighborhood Grocery without the owner's knowledge.

Pringle and Rakwan Williams were captured yesterday outside the bodega featured in the photograph.

Two other dealers - brothers Jonathan and Juan Paulino - were busted at their mother's Bushwick home, law-enforcement sources said.

Jonathan had a basement apartment where cops found 20 glassines of heroin, marijuana and a packaging laboratory that included envelopes, scales and stamps, the sources said.

The joint NYPD-Special Narcotics Prosecutor's Office investigation was launched in July after residents complained about the dealers selling dope and crack in open view.

Undercover cops dressed as hipsters made 20 drug buys, purchasing $10 envelopes of heroin stamped with brand names such as "Fed Ex," "KFC," "Powerful Impact," "Magik" and "Crossbones," the sources said.

In some cases, cops followed the dealers into the bodegas and were given drugs. Police also bought untaxed cigarettes from bodega employees.

"They were catering to the hipster crowd, among other customers," said one law-enforcement source.

Copyright 2010 N.Y.P. Holdings, Inc.

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