Drugs in LES Essay

Submitted By mleung24
Words: 1516
Pages: 7


The Lower East Side (LES) is a neighborhood located in the southeastern part of Manhattan in New York City. The boundaries surrounding lower east side to the west is Bowery Street, to the east is the East River, to the north is East Houston Street, and to the south is Canal Street. The LES used to an immigrant working class neighborhood. It went through major transformation in the mid 2000s and is now home to trendy restaurants and bars. Being part of the oldest neighborhoods of the city, the LES is ethnically diverse with the Irish, Italians, Ukrainians, Asians and other ethnic groups. Today's LES consists mainly of Whites, Asians, and Hispanics. In 2000, the population in the LES was 197,100 (www.nyc.gov ). While transportation in Manhattan is very convenient, the F train is the closest subway for the LES and buses such as the M15, M103, M22, and M9 can get you uptown or downtown. Being one of the trendiest and diverse neighborhoods in Manhattan where nightlife happens every night, how would one know if drugs were being dealt? As a resident in this neighborhood for 20+ years and some research, I would gladly share my experiences to help understand the common drugs that are being used in the LES. As explained earlier, the LES has a very diverse population. Among the Whites, Asians, and Hispanics, there is also a large population of illegal immigrants mainly from Mexico, Central and South America, and China. These illegal immigrants are usually hired very cheap for their labor since they don't have any paperwork such as work or school visas, passport, citizenship, or proof of identification. They are usually found loitering in front of stores and street corners looking for work. Most of the immigrants enter the United States illegally to escape poverty, religion, government, or economic depression in their home country. Whatever the reason may be, they come in search of a better life and to pursue the American dream in the land of opportunities or to make a better living in any way they can including dealing drugs. Today, LES is in much better shape when it comes to crimes such as murder, rape, robbery, assaults, burglary, and grand larceny. According to COMPSTAT (crime statistics) from the 7th precinct, there has been a decline in rape and murder in the last two years of 2012 and 2013. However, the other crimes have remained the same or unlike grand larceny, up to April 2013, it has already exceeded last year's number by 6 cases bringing the total to 100 reported cases. Many recent drug busts in the LES consists of cocaine, crack, and marijuana. Marijuana being one of the most common drugs seen and used in the LES. I've encountered many times when going home at night and passing by young adults hanging out in front of bars smoking away like it's cigarettes. The distinct smell of marijuana can easily be identified and I usually hold my breath as I walk past them. I have never seen anyone physically use cocaine in the neighborhood but I have seen used needles by public garbage cans and on the sidewalk curbs. The most recent drug bust in April 2013 consists of 41 alleged members of two East Village and LES drug trafficking rings (http://eastvillage.thelocal.nytimes.com/2013/04/12/camposbaruch-bust/). The rings are based out of Baruch Houses and Campos Plaza, sold and delivered cocaine and crack to customers throughout Manhattan. According to officials, there were 31 members that belonged to a gang known as "Blocc Boyz" that ran a distribution ring using car services to deliver drugs to clients in the Upper West Side, Upper East Side, midtown and outer boroughs also. I have a friend that knows of someone in the neighborhood that sells marijuana. I know how that person looks like but I don't know him personally. I always see him chatting with some people that lives in my building and sometimes my staircase would smell like marijuana. I haven't walked in on them in the staircase when I took