Thirty-eight alleged members of the Bronx Trinitarios Gang were arrested in a multi-agency sweep in Marble Hill and Northern Manhattan on Dec. 6, and authorities are searching for a dozen more.
Those arrested were among 50 people indicted. Forty-one were charged with racketeering conspiracy related to narcotics trafficking, murder and attempted murder. Others were hit with charges related to firearms trafficking and drug sales.
Agents executed search warrants at 22 locations in the Bronx and Manhattan, including at 97 Marble Hill Ave., a Drug Enforcement Agency source confirmed. Officials would not reveal other locations that were raided because they said publicizing that information could harm their efforts to track down those not cuffed during the morning bust, coined Operation Patria.
“Patria” refers to the Trinitario slogan — also the national motto of the Dominican Republic — ‘Dios, Patria, y Libertad,’ or ‘God, Fatherland and Liberty.’
During the raids, authorities said they confiscated marijuana, cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, at least two loaded guns, multiple knives and two machetes, which Trinitario gang members are infamous for using.
Officials said the bust — coordinated by the DEA, the Alcohol Task Force, Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the U.S. Attorney’s office and the NYPD — was a follow-up to a March 2009 raid in Manhattan that netted 30 arrests.
“It was a good takedown, we got three dozen defendants off the street. Anything that can keep the streets safe from gangs, especially during the holidays, is good,” said DEA spokesperson Erin Mulvey.
A 50th Precinct source confirmed that at least three of those cuffed, Carlos Urena, Jose Cruz and Luis Beltran, were previously known to the Five-O and either are or were recently Kingsbridge residents.
Mr. Urena, also known by the nicknames “Salcedo” and “White boy,” according to court documents and Mr. Cruz, nicknamed “Prostituto,” are alleged to be among seven Bronx Trinitario gang leaders who were cuffed.
Mr. Cruz is alleged to have led a violent sub-crew of the gang called Bad Boys.