WASHINGTON -- The arrest of 21 suspected drug dealers here
Thursday is part of a stepped-up federal effort to fight crime
and drugs in public and assisted housing around the nation,
Housing Secretary Andrew Cuomo said today.
ILLEGAL DRUGS IN PUBLIC HOUSING
The investigation that led to the arrests was launched by
the Department of Housing and Urban Development, working with
other federal and local law enforcement agencies, Cuomo said.
"President Clinton is sending a clear message that drug
dealers will not be allowed to terrorize law-abiding families who
live in HUD-assisted housing," Cuomo said. "We have a simple
warning for drug dealers who use HUD housing to sell their
poison: get out or get caught."
"The only taxpayer-funded housing that drug dealers are
entitled to is a prison cell -- and we will put them there,"
Barry R. McCaffrey, White House National Drug Policy
Director, said: "HUD and Secretary Cuomo are to be commended for
this aggressive operation to protect families from drug dealers
in HUD housing. HUD's anti-drug efforts are a national model of
federal-local anti-drug partnership."
Eric H. Holder Jr., United States Attorney for the District
of Columbia, said: "This program is a terrific example of how
cooperation among federal agencies and local law enforcement
organizations can dramatically improve the lives of our citizens.
We are fully committed to rooting out and prosecuting the drug
dealers who terrorize our public housing developments, and who
spread suffering and fear among their fellow residents."
Cuomo said HUD will step up its efforts to work directly
with local U.S. Attorneys' Offices, police departments, DEA, and
residents on drug prevention as well as enforcement initiatives.
In addition, HUD will strictly enforce President Clinton's
"One Strike and You're Out" policy in public housing, Cuomo said.
The policy is designed to keep drug dealers and violent criminals
from moving into public housing and to evict those already there.
"I want to commend the Department of Housing and Urban
Development for launching this important initiative," Holder
said, "and I want to warn those criminals who prey on public
housing developments that we will do whatever it takes to track
them down and lock them up."
"The kind of cooperation that the Washington, D.C. operation
demonstrated, with participation by the Washington, D.C. police,
the U.S. Attorney, the DEA, and other agencies together with HUD,
is why the federal-state-local High Intensity Drug Trafficking
Area (HIDTA) program funded by ONDCP is so important," McCaffrey
said. "With bipartisan congressional support, the President's
$140 million budget request for FY '98 will fund 15 HIDTA's
across the nation, increasing law enforcement efficiency and
effectiveness against drug criminals."
Launched in February 1994, HUD's anti-drug and anti-crime
initiative is part of President Clinton's Anti-Crime Initiative
and combines the resources of federal, state and local law
enforcement agencies to identify and follow through on cases
involving drugs and violent crimes, outstanding arrest warrants,
and parole violations in and around public housing developments.
As a result of the HUD program, more than 10,000 people have
been arrested, and 1,200 weapons and $2 million in cash has been
The latest anti-drug effort consisted of a drug raid
Thursday in Washington, D.C.'s Brooklyn Manor, a HUD-assisted
housing development in the northeast section of the city. Through
the cooperative efforts of the U.S. Attorney's Office,
Metropolitan Police Department, Drug Enforcement Administration,
and HUD, 21 alleged drug dealers were arrested and $9,000 worth
of crack cocaine and heroin was seized.
Content Archived: January 20, 2009