Updated 04/03/2012 05:12 PM
Schenectady gang raid nets 23 arrests
Nearly two dozen members or associates of the Uptown Gang were arrested in a raid in Schenectady Tuesday morning. Four suspects remain at large. Erin Connolly has the details.
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SCHENECTADY, N.Y. -- Authorities say the City of Schenectady after an early-morning raid results in the arrests of 23 people. Twenty-seven people were indicted in the case, leaving four suspects still at large.
Led out in handcuffs, several alleged members or associates of the Uptown Gang in Schenectady, also known as the Gunners Gang. They were arrested Tuesday morning in a raid by more than 150 federal, state, and local agents. Several locations were involved, including a house on Altamont Avenue.
U.S. Attorney Richard Hartunian said, "I think what we did was we struck at the heart of the gang, and I think their ability to continue to operate will be challenged dramatically as a result of today's efforts."
Thirteen people are charged with racketeering conspiracy, in relation to their alleged involvement with the Uptown Gang, or Gunners Gang - a gang known to have been involved in attempted murder, robbery, and drug trafficking. They're said to have operated in the central and eastern section of Schenectady.
Hartunian said, "They arm themselves with firearms in order to protect their territory, to protect their trade, and to project a violent attitude toward others, and they retaliated against rival gangs who committed acts of violence against Gunners Gang members."
Those 13 defendants, plus another six, are also charged with possession and intent to sell more than 280 grams of crack cocaine and heroin. The remaining eight are charged with possession and intent to sell more than 28 grams of crack cocaine.
Schenectady Police Chief Mark Chaires said, "You realize very quickly that the combination of drugs, gangs, and gun violence are malignants that have been destroying this city."
And officials say Tuesday's arrests won't stop gang violence in the city entirely, but it's a step in the right direction.
Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney said, "With everybody working together, we can truly make an impact and remove some very dangerous people from our neighborhoods."
Those arrested Tuesday were arraigned at the federal courthouse in Albany. They were denied bail and their hearings are scheduled for later this week.