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Head of Group Involved in NYC's 'Blueprint to End Gun Violence' Hit With Gun, Drug Charges

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

The head of the group Bronx Rises Against Gun Violence was among more than a dozen suspects hit with gun and drug charges in an upstate bust.

According to News 12 The Bronx, Michael Rodriguez is accused of "leading a narcotic trafficking ring that sold cocaine laced with fentanyl in multiple Orange County communities."


When authorities raided his home in Yonkers, two illegal guns were found along with 1.5 kilos of cocaine, and over $165,000 in cash, the New York Post reports.

News 12 The Bronx interviewed the 48-year-old four days before his arrest, on July 22, at a community event meant for high-risk youth. His Yonkers residence was later raided that week in the multiagency investigation dubbed, "Operation Hide in Plain Sight."

“The very guy that we have supposed to be stopping gun violence in one jurisdiction in New York City is poisoning our jurisdiction up here," said Orange County District Attorney Dave Hoovler. [...]

Officials say the two-year investigation first centered around Angelica Rodriguez - an alleged drug dealer in Middletown for more than two decades. Police say months of wiretaps then led them to the alleged supplier. (News 12 The Bronx)

BRAG is listed as one of the community partners in Mayor Eric Adams’ “Blueprint to End Gun Violence.”

“The allegations of drug trafficking and gun possession against Michael Rodriguez are shocking and disturbing, especially since he has attended anti-violence events and peace marches portraying himself as someone who cares about stopping the violence in our community,” Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark said in a statement Tuesday. “These charges are the exact opposite of the good work cure violence groups are doing.”

In a statement to media outlets, BRAG said it was aware of "the investigation and the charges that have been made. While we work to learn more, our primary focus remains on the communities we serve and our programs that are helping to keep them safe.”


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