THE BRONX - Police arrested 15 suspects Wednesday connected to an alleged crack-cocaine ring that operated near schools, playgrounds and housing projects in the Bronx.

Authorities say five of the accused drug traffickers have been previously arrested on separate state and federal charges. All 15 now face anywhere from one year to life behind bars per count if convicted of conspiring to distribute up to 50 grams of cocaine or dealing crack-cocaine. Each suspect has been charged with one to 25 counts.

Police say the arrests of the accused drug traffickers were the result of a special joint operation conducted by the NYPD, the DEA and the U.S. Marshals' Service.