A gang runs an open-air drug-and-sex ring in the heart of Times Square, brazenly hawking cocaine, pot, pills and women to passers-by — all right in front of NYPD cops.Three times this month, ring members approached a Post reporter and asked if he wanted drugs or prostitutes, with one trying to lead him into an office building for sex with a hooker.Another offered a “happy ending” massage at an unnamed hotel nearby. A third said he would provide “free samples” of illegal drugs.
Modal TriggerIsa Karim, a leader of the Times Square gang.The ring has set up shop on Seventh Avenue between 48th and 49th streets in front of the bar Tonic and next to the Lace Gentleman’s Club, a strip joint.It was there that two young men with foreign accents tried to get the reporter to buy drugs or pay for sex with 20-something “ladies” they said were available. Each offer was made as patrol cops stood nearby or sat in a police van on the block.“Russian girls, Spanish,” gang member Junior said to the reporter.“Go to the hotel there,” he said and pointed up the block. “Happy ending. On the second floor. The girl come and meet you downstairs. Take you upstairs . . . Everything straight.”The cost: $250, Junior said. “Hotel room is included.”Another member claimed the ring had a room for illicit sex in a 10-story office building at 723 Seventh Ave., where one of its leaders, Isa Karim, 37, was arrested for allegedly slicing up a man in January, leaving a pool of blood on the sidewalk at the corner of 48th Street.It’s the same building where rapper Tupac Shakur got shot five times in 1994 but survived.But a security guard in the building said no such room exists.
ReutersHe said the gang lures in tourists with its offers, then takes their money and walks off.“These gentlemen, if you could call them that, are out there steering individuals,” a police source said. “There might be some drugs involved. There might be prostitution. Or they might be scamming.”A worker for a business on the block said the gang was a scourge.“We hate that they are out there,” the worker said.“I’m frustrated as hell. It’s epidemic. I think there about 15 to 20 guys. Most of them tend to be of African descent. From Africa. We let the cops know. They’re not oblivious.”Cops say they are doing all they can to stop the gang, making 128 arrests on the block in 2016, including 39 that were drug related, and an additional 22 busts so far this year.“We’re aware of it and conduct numerous arrests in that area,” Lt. John Grimpel said.He said that the Midtown North precinct, which covers that block, made 131 prostitution arrests in 2016 and 28 in 2017.