How can you tell when you've been slinging drugs for too long on the same corner? When police are able to use Google Maps to identify you. NYPD set up a sting on a drug crew working near the Cooper Park Houses in East Williamsburg yesterday, busting seven dealers including three whose faces were captured in the Google street view. And the police did so in the guise of hipsters. "They were catering to the hipster crowd, among other customers," one law-enforcement source told the Post.
The suspects in the Google photo were identified as Shaundell Dade (in the red coat), Jamel Pringle, and Jonathan Paulino, who is the suspected ringleader of the crew. He allegedly was caught in a basement apartment where cops found 20 glassines of heroin, marijuana and a packaging laboratory that included envelopes, scales and stamps. The suspects were caught on surveillance camera allegedly stashing their heroin in a magnetic lock box secured to the back of the Neighborhood Grocery's metal signs, unknown to the owner of the store. Undercover cops dressed as hipsters made 20 drug buys, purchasing $10 envelopes of heroin stamped with brand names such as "Fed Ex," "KFC," "Powerful Impact," "Magik" and "Crossbones."
Police began the investigation four months ago after locals complained about the crew selling crack and dope openly in the neighborhood. "If you look at the neighborhood, there are a lot of drugs. You don't want your kids to walk around a neighborhood with drugs," said Jose Inez, manager of Chela Grocery on Kingsland Avenue, who said he would close the store from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. because "it was serving as a sanctuary for drug dealers."