4 times • DECEMBER 24, 2015 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT www.qns.com Q58 rated Queens’ slowest bus again By ANTHONY GIUDICE email@example.com @a_guidicereport Not even the New York Yankees or New England Patriots could duplicate the title “success” of the Q58 bus line, which earned its sixth consecutive Pokey Award from the Straphangers Campaign as Queens’ slowest bus route. The New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) Straphangers Campaign and Transportation Alternatives announced the winners (or losers) of the slowest bus routes, the “Pokey” Award, and worst bus services, the “Schleppie” Award, in the five boroughs, and a familiar bus topped the list for Queens. According to the groups, the Q58, which runs between Ridgewood and Flushing through neighborhoods including Maspeth, Elmhurst and Corona, clocked in at an average speed of 7 mph, the slowest in all of Queens and 22nd in the entire city. In their survey, the groups observed a total of 40 routes. Five of the routes were dropped because of construction ongoing construction on the routes during the survey period, three of which are in the midst of significant upgrades as part of the Select Bus Service program. As a result, 35 bus routes were included in their report. The bus named the most unreliable route in Queens— such as having large gaps in service or buses arriving in bunches— was the Q43 between Floral Park and Jamaica, with 22.2 percent unreliable service. The number of bus routes that meet the requirements for unreliable routes, with over 20 percent of buses bunched together or big gaps in service, increased 68 percent within the last year, jumping from 19 routes in 2014 to 32 routes in 2015. The groups hope that this information will spur the city to use techniques tailored for Select Bus Service. “Select Bus Service has features that provide faster service, such as collecting fares before boarding buses; buses with three doors and low floors to speed up boarding and alighting; reconfiguring bus stops and bus lanes to reduce conflicts with other traffic; wider subway-style spacing between stops; and enforcement of bus lanes by camera to keep the lanes moving,” the groups said. Click to see the group’s methods of calculating slowest bus routes and unreliable service. Click to see full tables of bus speeds and buses with unreliable service. File photo The Q58 was named as the slowest bus in Queens again, while the Q43 was named worst in service in the borough. Glendale man charged with leading Queens-based heroin ring By ANTHONY GIUDICE firstname.lastname@example.org @a_guidicereport A Glendale man was identified as the alleged ringleader of a lucrative heroin trafficking ring that operated in Queens, Brooklyn and Long Island, according to Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson. Mohamed Chaaibi, 27, of Glendale, allegedly supplied numerous quantities of heroin and coordinated all the transactions by taking calls from buyers and sending couriers to prearranged locations where sales were conducted. Chaaibi was among nine defendants charged in a 281-count indictment with conspiracy, sale and possession of a controlled substance and criminal possession of a weapon for their involvement in the drug ring. Thompson announced the indictment Tuesday along with Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, New York State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) New York Division Special Agent-in-Charge James J. Hunt. “There’s a growing heroin epidemic spreading throughout our city and country Photos courtesy Brooklyn District Attorney’s office Mohamed Chaaibi of Glendale was identified as the alleged ring leader of a heroin drug ring. that’s destroying lives and families,” Thompson said. “This is the second heroin distribution operation that we dismantled in recent months and we intend to continue to do our part to save lives by taking down anyone who deals heroin in Brooklyn.” Also named in the indictment were Ridgewood’s Dixon Mercado, 42, and Brandon Alvarez, 20, along with Miguel Alcaide, 30, of Brownsville, Brooklyn. Prosecutors said they allegedly acted as runners or couriers who supplied heroin to other named defendants who then re-sold it to their own customers. Kimberly Wong, 32, of Ridgewood—a real estate broker—allegedly helped Chaaibi with the proceeds of the narcotic sales, according to prosecutors. It is alleged that Wong also assisted him in finding cheap properties for rent and kept a stash of heroin in her residence to use when his runners ran low. Finally, Marius Kaczmarczyk, 39, of Maspeth, allegedly tested the product for Chaaibi and report back his findings. “Chaaibi used legitimate business marketing for illegitimate drug sales,” Hunt said. “By branding his cut of heroin ‘Two Way,’ he attracted and retained customers; some who drove far distances in order to purchase his product in bulk for resale on the street.” Thompson said the investigation, which began in September 2014, was conducted using electronic, video and physical surveillance. Cell phone conversations that were intercepted during the course of the investigation showed that the defendants repeatedly discussed the quality of the heroin, customers’ assessment of its potency and its effectiveness when consumed by snorting it versus shooting it with a needle. Police executed a search warrant at Chaaibi’s residence and recovered a loaded .380 firearm and drug paraphernalia with heroin residue. Another raid at one of the ring’s stash house recovered approximately 13 ounces of uncut heroin, about 2,000 glassines of heroin marked with their “Two Way” brand, drug paraphernalia and over 20 cell phones. Six guns were also recovered during the course of the investigation. Each of the defendants face a maximum sentence of up to life in prison if convicted of the top count with which they are charged. Several others are still at large, prosecutors noted.
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