A 38-year-old man, a wannabe rapper, and dozens of their co-conspirators were indicted for a sprawling drug operation Thursday, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance announced.
Investigators charged Thomas Luckey, and 14 other people, with allegedly selling cocaine and crack in Harlem from February 2013 to May 2014, according to court documents. The indictment said they allegedly sold the drugs often to an undercover detective near West 143rd Street and 8th Avenue.
Luckey also helped run an oxycodone pill ring in which he would allegedly collect information to fill out stolen or forged prescriptions. An employee at a Jackson Heights pharmacy, John Babajhanov, 20, would then allegedly fill the prescriptions, knowing they were fake, the 27-count indictment said.
During the course of the investigation, police uncovered a second scheme in which more than $80,000 was swiped from customers at several banks by allegedly stealing their information and cashing counterfeit checks, according to a separate 36-count indictment. Eavesdropping on Luckey led investigators to his alleged involvement. .
A 30-year-old Hackensack rapper, Carlton Carter, allegedly oversaw the stolen information. Carter, also known as “Pop” or “Paper Ova,” instructed his “soldiers” to go into banks and cash the fake checks, according to the indictment.
Equipment used to create the fake checks as well as 79-rounds of live ammunition and about 300 pairs of designer sneakers were allegedly recovered from Carter’s apartment, according to court records.
The investigation lasted about a year, said a spokeswoman for the Manhattan DA.
Luckey pleaded not guilty and was held without bail in Manhattan Supreme Court Thursday afternoon. His attorney could not be reached for comment.
Carter was awaiting arraignment Thursday and it could not be determined if he had retained an attorney.
His attorney Anthony Mayol declined to comment.