New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan have announced the arrests and indictments of three drug traffickers who sold drugs and guns near the Chelsea Houses in Manhattan, on certain occasions using a baby’s stroller and diaper bag to stash the goods. Epifanio Santiago, or “Frenchie,” the main defendant, has been charged with selling heroin, cocaine, crack, oxycodone pills, and two guns during seven meetings with undercover detectives — upon his arrest last night at West 23rd Street and 9th Avenue, he was in possession of eight grams of crack, five grams of heroin, and $382. His apartment at West 25th Street was then searched; officers found crack pipes and a small amount of marijuana.
The two others arrested, David Rodriguez, a/k/a “Red” and “D-Blood,” and Deion Alonzo, a/k/a “Saint” and “Peso,” who was arrested on August 26, had acted as lookouts for Santiago and assisted with sales — the majority of which (including the two gun sales) took place near a playground at the Chelsea Houses.
In the largest sale, according to the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor, Santiago sold more than 200 glassines of heroin and 2 ounces of highly-pure cocaine for $4,000. He brought his infant daughter along for the sale, hiding the drugs inside her stroller and diaper bag.
In addition to narcotics-related charges, Santiago and Alonzo each face one count of endangering the welfare of a child.
After the community complained about drug activity and gang violence at the Chelsea Houses, the NYPD’s Manhattan South Narcotics Division launched this investigation in April. In total, Santiago sold nearly $11,400 in drugs and guns during the four-month investigation.