By Sasha Gonzales
A drug crew leader who helped flood parts of the Bronx with cocaine and heroin, using murder and violence to prolong his reign nearly two decades, was sentenced Wednesday to 35 years in prison, authorities said.
Edwin Romero was the leader of a drug distribution organization centered on Weeks Avenue and East 175th Street Mount Hope, prosecutors said. He oversaw dozens of dealers slinging coke, crack, weed, and heroin, and personally shot a victim named Jose Montalvo ten times in May 2004, killing him, prosecutors said.
Romero pleaded guilty to participating in a narcotics distribution conspiracy, officials said.
“For nearly two decades Edwin Romero was the leader of a major drug organization, responsible for dozens of dealers selling dangerous drugs on the streets of the Bronx, and for numerous acts of violence committed at his direction,” said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman, whose office prosecuted Romero.
Between at least 2000 until March 2017, prosecutors said, Romero committed numerous robberies and acts of gun violence as part of his leadership duties.
He also gave guns to other members of the organization so that they could carry out shootings, commit robberies, and maintain and expand their drug-dealing territory, authorities said.