Springfield Gardens shootout: US marshals exchange gunfire with man wanted for cocaine smuggling
An alleged drug trafficker on the run for more than two decades was arrested Tuesday night following a late night shootout with U.S. Marshals in Queens, said James Elcik, assistant chief deputy with the U.S. Marshals.
Oswald Lewis, 44, was allegedly hiding out in the Springfield Gardens area of Queens when marshals knocked on his door, Elcik said in a statement.
Lewis allegedly immediately started shooting and only stopped after marshals fired back, hitting him in the arm, and running out of ammunition himself, Elcik said.
Marshals recovered two handguns, a .40 caliber and a 9mm. Lewis was also wearing a bullet proof vest at the time, Elcik said.
Lewis was indicted in Alexandria, Virginia, in 1991 for allegedly conspiring to distribute cocaine, Elcik said.
"After over 20 years on the run as a fugitive, the U.S. Marshals in Brooklyn tracked down Lewis in about a week," said Charles Dunne, U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of New York, in a statement. "This case exemplifies the ability of the U.S. Marshals to return fugitives to justice using a combination of modern technology and traditional investigative techniques."
Lewis was arrested two years later in Maryland and charged with possession, smuggling and distribution of cocaine. He used a false identity at the time, Elcik said.
Then in 1995 Lewis was arrested in North Carolina for allegedly trafficking cocaine and again used a false identity to post bond, Elcik said.
At the time of his indictment, Lewis, who is from Guyana, was last known to live in Brooklyn, Elcik said.
Lewis was taken to Jamaica Hospital for a non-life threatening gunshot wound.