City police and federal agents have joined forces against the gangs and managed to accomplish the unexpected: a three-week murder-less spell in some of Manhattan's most crime-ridden areas.
"It's spectacular," Police Commissioner Howard Safir told the New York Post.
Overall, crimes from rapes to robberies declined by up to 40 percent in the Harlem, Washington Heights and Inwood sections of upper Manhattan last month and earlier this month, officials said. And between Sept. 9 through Oct. 13, no murders at all were reported in those areas -- down from an average of about 20 a week.
Safir said that drug traffickers were responsible for 80 percent of crimes committed in the city.
How did the police bring the crime rate down so drastically? By flooding these neighborhoods with police officers alongside agents from federal immigration and tax authorities and frightening many drug dealers who are illegal immigrants with the prospect of being deported if they are arrested, the Post reported.