A crack dealer who prosecutors say acted as the "unofficial mayor" of Avenue D and picked up his drugs at a Midtown Starbucks was arrested Tuesday morning, along with 7 of his co-conspirators.
According to a release from the Manhattan DA's office, 35-year-old Dwayne Mitchell, known as Dubbs, used the proceeds from his drug dealing to buy Mercedes Benzes, throw neighborhood barbecues, and pay for kids to take trips to Six Flags. “He’s the unofficial mayor of the underworld on Avenue D,” ADA Dan Rather told the Times. “Nothing happens on that strip without Dwayne Mitchell’s knowledge or approval.”
Prosecutors say that Mitchell had virtually controlled the crack market in the Jacob Riis Houses, from East 8th to East 13th Streets and D down to the FDR, for more than a decade. The complaint against Mitchell alleges that he typically traded large quantities of cash and drugs at a Starbucks on 32nd Street.
The arrests come after a 21-month investigation that utilized undercover officers, wiretapping, and persistent surveillance. An undercover was allegedly able to earn Mitchell's confidence over a long period of time to purchase large amounts of crack from him.
Mitchell is charged with conspiracy, two felonies for selling controlled substances, money laundering and other related charges. Three of his co-conspirators remain at large.
"Although the nexus between illicit narcotics and violence is well known, the efficacy of prosecutors in District Attorney Vance’s office and those of our undercover officer and his colleagues in the NYPD’s Manhattan South Narcotics Bureau often remain unsung," NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said in a release.
Manhattan DA Cy Vance added, “Drug dealers have no place in public housing...This will impact public safety, and enable residents to take back their community."