Sixteen people were arrested on Post Road last week for their involvement in what the Manhattan U.S. Attorney called a “Bronx armed robbery crew that impersonated police officers,” according to the United States Department of Justice.
The Drug Enforcement Taskforce, comprising members of the New York Police Department, the federal Drug Enforcement Agency and New York State Troopers made the arrests on Post Road in North Riverdale, after the suspects — who had allegedly arrived to invade the home of purported heroin traffickers — were pulled over in their vehicles, according to the DOJ.
According to court documents, federal agents seized five loaded semi-automatic firearms, a loaded pistol, .45 caliber and .380 caliber ammunition, shirts emblazoned with the word “police,” tactical gear, a hydraulic ram or “rabbit pump” similar to what law enforcement agencies use to break down doors, zip ties, a crowbar, a ski mask and a bolt cutter.
A DEA agent working through confidential informants and a witness — who is providing information in exchange for a reduced sentence — set up a meeting between somebody who knew the location of narcotics stashes and a crew that impersonated police officers to rob narcotics traffickers.
The informant learned that “the wolves were hungry” and “liked the sound of the job,” according to the complaint.
The first meeting took place on Dec. 17 at a restaurant in Midtown Manhattan, at which the participants discussed robbing a shipment of at least 10 kilograms of heroin after the holidays. After more discussions in which an insider gave them an estimate of 20 to 30 kilograms, they planned the robbery for Jan. 9.
At around 7:28 p.m. on Jan. 9, they met at a restaurant “in the vicinity of West 251st Street and Broadway,” according to the complaint and discussed the fact that there was a police officer in the crew in case they needed to shoot someone.
After standing and talking in the street, the defendants got into a Ford Crown Victoria, a Honda Odyssey and a Dodge Nitro and followed a Ford Mustang. A Chevy Tahoe and Chrysler Minivan soon joined the convoy.