Volume 19 Issue 46 | March 30 - April 5, 2007
A short circuit in a Con Edison electric cable beneath Broadway between Grand and Broome Sts. caused a fire at about 9:45 p.m. Sat. March 24 and forced residents to evacuate 475 Broadway, a Con Edison spokesperson said. The residents were allowed back home after an hour and there was no interruption in service, the spokesperson said.
Face the music
The Feb. 22 Downtown traffic and license violations by Busta Rhymes blew the rap performers chances for a no-jail plea bargain in connection with two assault charges last year, one in Chelsea and the other on Chambers St.
Criminal Court Judge Tanya Kennedy on Mon. March 26 withdrew the plea bargain option and set a May 8 trial for the performer, 34, whose real name is Trevor Smith.
Judge Kennedy on Feb. 20 had offered Smith three years probation, six months of anger management and three weeks of community service for guilty pleas on the two charges, which were to have been entered March 26. But two days later, Smith was arrested for running a red light at Warren St. at W. Broadway and for driving with a suspended license, charges that prompted Kennedy this week to cancel the plea bargain.
One assault involves an August charge that Smith beat a fan who accidentally spit on the car of one of his crew on Sixth Ave. and W. 19th St. The other charge accuses Smith of beating a former driver who approached him on Dec. 26 at Chambers St. and W. Broadway and demanded back pay.
Guns and drugs
Law enforcement officials secured the indictments on March 21 of three men charged with drug and gun trafficking over the course of a year in Brooklyn and on the grounds of the Al Smith Houses on South St.
The defendants, one still being sought and identified only by the nicknames of Big Man and Rock, were the subject of a year-long investigation that included undercover police making buys of guns, crack cocaine and heroin, according to Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.
Peguy Desir, 27, known as Pete and Joshua Pierre, 30, known as Honda and the defendant identified as Rock are charged with selling a total of 83 guns to undercover agents.
The trafficking involved buying drugs in New York, selling them at a profit in Virginia and buying the guns in Virginia for sale at a profit in New York, according to Morgenthaus office.
The investigation began in January of last year with gun sales in the Brooklyn College area of Flatbush and in Coney Island, according to the charges. In December 2006, the defendants began selling guns, heroin and crack in front of 182 South St. in the Smith Houses grounds just north of the Brooklyn Bridge, according to the indictments. The crack was sold in bags weighing more than two ounces and the heroin was sold under brand names Make it Rain, How High and No Limit.
Desir and Pierre were arrested Tues. March 20 just after Desir had completed a sale of eight guns to undercover agents, Kelly said. Two more guns and a pound of marijuana were seized at the arrests and two cars that the defendants used were also seized.
The guns sold included 9 millimeter and .380 caliber semi-automatic pistols and machine pistols. In most sales, ammunition was included.
Kelly and Morgenthau said the investigation is continuing.
Desir, who lives in Brooklyn and has an apartment in Fredericksburg, Va., and Pierre, who lives in Irvington, N.J., and has an apartment in Newark, were arraigned March 26 and are each being held pending an April 16 court appearance or the posting of $1 million bail or bond of $500,000.