Lower East Side drug ring busted

Dwayne Mitchell, 35, headed the drug ring that operated in and around the Jacob Riis Houses on the Lower East Side. (Credit: Google Maps)
Dwayne Mitchell, 35, is accused of heading up the drug ring that operated in and around the Jacob Riis Houses on the Lower East Side. Credit: Google Maps

A popular and well-known Lower East Side drug kingpin who conducted business out of a Midtown Starbucks has been busted.

According to the indictment, Dwayne Mitchell, 35, and 10 other men obtained, transported, processed, packaged and sold large quantities of crack cocaine to customers in and around the Jacob Riis Houses, a NYCHA housing complex between East Eighth and East 13th streets, from Avenue D to FDR Drive.

Dwayne Mitchell, also known as “Dubbs,” regularly met with his supplier, 29-year-old Sabed Rahman, at a Midtown Starbucks to exchange wholesale quantities of drugs and cash, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.

“For years, these criminals are alleged to have run a large-scale drug operation out of the Jacob Riis Houses on the Lower East Side, a pocket of our city already struggling against crime and violence,” said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.

Both Mitchell and Rahman are charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance and other felonies. Mitchell is additionally charged with money laundering.

The arrests come after a 21-month investigation in which an undercover officer infiltrated the group.

The indictment says the men used cell phones to communicate and conduct their business. They also used code words, such as “chicken” and “donuts” to refer to cocaine and money.

According to statements made in court, members of the group spent the drug money on Mercedes cars and other luxury items.

Prosecutors say Mitchell headed the drug ring for more than a decade and was well-known in his neighborhood for hosting barbecues and organizing trips to Six Flags for local children.


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