A number of East Williamsburg and Bushwick residents were surprised by a combined federal and NYPD raid on Devoe Street early Sunday morning. Some were disturbed by a loud, low-flying helicopter, while others were simply stopped from going home because the street was blocked off.
Witnesses spotted a big Department of Homeland Security truck as well as DHS agents toting machine guns as they raided 221 Devoe Street. The NYPD was also involved, and one officer told a resident that the bust turned up "kilos of heroin." (Apparently the drugs may have been from out of the country, hence DHS.)
A resident in a neighboring building told us that he and his partner "were utterly confused and frankly terrorized...I literally had a flashlight-gun pointed at me from a sniper on top of the black armored truck the first time I opened our window to see what was going on."
The neighbor added, "What woke us up was a cop yelling 'POLICE!' outside and hearing some sort of scream. Then I noticed the flashing lights of the armored black truck so I peeped out the window. There were two snipers on top of the armored truck with flashlight-guns and one of them pointed at me immediately. If I was them and I was doing my job, I probably would have pointed it at me, too, but at the same I wasn't even in the building they were looking at. He immediately pointed it away but needless to say, I was terrified because I could have been picked off instantly. Then in our backyard we noticed the helicopter lighting it all up. After about 20 minutes, all the armed guards made it to the backyard of 221 Devoe and were pointing their flashlight-guns everywhere."
The Department of Homeland Security told us, "Special agents from Homeland Security Investigations assisted local authorities with a search warrant in an ongoing investigation. Because the investigation is ongoing, we will decline to elaborate." The NYPD had no comment when we contacted them yesterday.