Police dealt a stunning blow to two warring Bronx gangs, arresting 19 alleged drug dealers suspected in a dozen shootings and other mayhem in Soundview.
The Wednesday takedown was the culmination of Operation Teflon, a year-long probe by the Bronx Narcotics Bureau targeting two gangs on Wheeler Ave., cops told the Daily News.
A total of 30 thugs have been hit with federal charges of conspiracy to distribute narcotics, and also are suspected in a string of robberies, kidnappings, assaults and shootings.
Five of the alleged hoods have fled the state, cops said, vowing to hunt them down along with six other at-large suspects.
"These gangsters are not fit to live," fumed Fitzroy Watts, 61, shopping under the Westchester Ave. el yesterday. "I hope they get locked away for good."
The two gangs, based north and south of Westchester Ave. in the 43rd Precinct, once rolled together as The Wheeler Boys.
But cops said the crew splintered in 2008, leading to open warfare on Wheeler, the same street where police mistakenly killed African immigrant Amadou Diallo in 1999.
"These two gangs were like a divorced couple that lived next to each other," said a police source.
Cops said the rival gangs were pulling down about $60,000 a month dealing crack cocaine before Wednesday night's roundup.
They are suspected in the Jan. 13 double shooting at Wheeler and Westchester Aves.
Javon Carroll, 18, was killed and Darin Billings, 19, was wounded.
The gangs also are suspected in the shooting of an innocent bystander in 2008.
"The neighborhood has always been bad," said Jennifer Marie, 21. "The drugs are going to be here no matter what, but the less violence the better."
Fourteen-year-old Nick, who wouldn't give his last name, said the bust could help turn the area around.
"It should make us all safer," he said.
But the arrests won't stop Carmen Rosario, 41, from kissing the neighborhood goodbye.
"I'm moving because I have a 6-year-old, and it's not safe for her here," she said.
POLICE ARREST 19 MEMBERS OF THE WHEELER BOYS IN SOUNDVIEW! LIVED HERE 20 YEARS & I FEEL SAFE! I COULD WALK UP & DOWN ANY ONE OF THESE BLOCKS & BE SAFE! WHAT YOU GOTTA WATCH OUT FOR IS THE F**KING THIRSTY DIRTY A$$ COPS FROM THE 43RD PRECINCT! THEY ARE THE ONES THAT SHOT AMADOU DIALLO 50 SOMETHING TIMES! THEY TREAT THIS SH!T LIKE IT'S A WAR ZONE! THE ONLY THING THEY PROTECT IS PROPERTY & WILL GIVE YOU A TICKET FOR THE DUMBEST SH!T LIKE TRESPASSING IF THEY CATCH YOU IN A BUILDING THAT YOU DON'T LIVE IN! IT'S ALWAY'S F**K THE POLICE! BACK IN THE DAYS THE LITTLE KIDS WOULD GO TO THE TOP OF THE BUILDINGS & THROW BOTTLES AT THEM! THOSE WERE THE GOOD OLD DAYS! LOL!