United States Files Forfeiture Complaint Against Greenpoint Hotel
DEC 8--JOHN P. GILBRIDE , Special Agent in-Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, New York and ROSLYNN R. MAUSKOPF, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, announced today the government has filed a civil forfeiture complaint in U.S. District Court against the Greenpoint Hotel, a 194-room residential hotel located at 1100 Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY.
The United States seeks to forfeit the hotel after an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration revealed that the hotel has been used extensively to facilitate trafficking in heroin and crack cocaine. The charges are merely allegations, and these defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. According to the complaint, for several years a drug organization led by Rafael Perez, also known as “Macho,” has openly distributed heroin and crack cocaine from rooms in the Greenpoint Hotel. The complaint alleges that many hotel residents participated in the drug business, by either purchasing heroin and crack cocaine in the hotel or by dealing for the Macho organization in the hotel, and at times hotel employees facilitated drug sales in the hotel. During the course of their investigation, DEA agents determined that at least 20 individuals have died in the hotel of probable drug overdoses, and there has been at least one drug-related homicide in the hotel.
In November 2004, Macho and six associates were arrested and indicted in the Eastern District of New York on seven counts of cocaine and heroin distribution. Four defendants have pled guilty to drug trafficking charges. Macho and two co-defendants are incarcerated while awaiting trial scheduled to begin January 17, 2006 before U.S. District Judge David G. Trager.
“This forfeiture represents the commitment of law enforcement to reclaim the Greenpoint Hotel from drugs and violence and make our communities a safer place,” stated DEA Special Agent-in-Charge GILBRIDE .
“We are committed to preventing seemingly legitimate businesses from facilitating the distribution of illegal drugs in our communities,” stated U.S. Attorney MAUSKOPF . “The Greenpoint Hotel, located just two blocks from a neighborhood playground, endangers the welfare of the law-abiding residents of Greenpoint and must be eliminated as a source of drug trafficking. We are determined to keep Greenpoint a safe neighborhood in which to work and live.” Ms. MAUSKOPF expressed her grateful appreciation to the Drug Enforcement Administration for its assistance in this case.
The government’s forfeiture case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael J. Goldberger.