Alleged heroin slinging Brownsville basketball player yet to be arraigned

June 12, 2017 By Paul Frangipane Special to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Mug shot of James “Fly” Williams. Eagle file photo by Paul Frangipane.

A 65-year-old former American Basketball Association player from Brownsville who was busted for allegedly leading a multimillion dollar heroin ring, was not produced before the court Monday, putting his case off for the second time, until Tuesday.

James “Fly” Williams was arrested on May 4, 2017 after an eight-month-long investigation that found Williams to be the alleged leader of a heroin ring in which Williams purchased drugs from suppliers in the Bronx and then distributed them in bulk and retail amounts throughout Brownsville, Bushwick, Flatbush, Fort Greene, Canarsie and other neighborhoods, officials said.

“Avid basketball fans have heard of him,” said Acting District Attorney Eric Gonzalez when he announced the arrest. “In the 1970s, he was a high school superstar and college basketball prodigy who grew up in Brownsville, Brooklyn. His popularity and status in the community may have ironically helped in operating and hid this elaborate criminal enterprise.”

Williams was originally set to be arraigned on June 7, but was not transported to Brooklyn Supreme Court. The new date for arraignment is set for Tuesday, June 13.

Williams was arrested with 12 other alleged members of the drug organization and was charged with violating New York’s drug kingpin statute, a charge that yields 25 years to life in prison.

Members of the network were allegedly buying at least $30,000 of heroin weekly.

“We allege that Fly Williams and his associates are the worst kind of drug dealers because they were selling this poison to their neighbors and others in their communities,” Gonzalez said in May. “These are our communities and our neighbors, these are our family members and they need to be protected from the scourge of heroin.”


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