Suffolk County Narcotics Cops Break Up Luxury Car Drug-Smuggling Ring

DA Spota: Where The Accused Could Try To Hide Cocaine, Weapons, They Did

HAUPPAGUE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — It was something out of a James Bond movie.

Fancy cars with secretly built compartments, concealing stashes of illegal drugs, were driven from California to Long Island, CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reports.

The eight high-end vehicles, including a Mercedes, BMW and two Cadillac Escalades, were more than luxury models. They were drug-running cars, containing gizmos and gadgets concealing secret compartments, chiseled out seats and floorboards and airbags ripped out so cocaine could be packed, Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said. Stashes of steroids were found in empty consoles. Cash was found in panels where cushions once protected passengers.

“Use your imagination. Any way you can think of, the drug dealers think of. Car carriers are not the only way that they move drugs. It happens to be what they used in this case,” said Detective Sgt. William Burke of the Suffolk County Narcotics Squad.

cocaine arrests Suffolk County Narcotics Cops Break Up Luxury Car Drug Smuggling Ring

Men arrested in alleged cross-country cocaine smuggling ring (credit: Handout)

Police said wire taps, surveillance and search warrants led them to four Suffolk County men — Robert Perticone, Richard Occhino, Theodore Katsanos and Jose Tejada. An arrest warrant has been issued for a fifth suspect, William Wright, from West Hollywood, Calif. Spota called him the “major kingpin” and “prime architect” of the alleged drug ring.

The suspects allegedly made many millions marketing illegal narcotics to Long Island at five times what they paid to a Mexican cartel. The cocaine was smuggled across the border to Los Angeles and then, using car carrier trucks, hundreds of kilos of cocaine were driven to Deer Park and hidden in the car traps.

McLogan noted that in one souped-up SUV, the parking brake could be activated, the seatbelt engaged and remote key fob pressed, signaling the hydraulic lift to open a secret compartment in back.

When undercover cops discovered the hidden traps they recovered millions in cash, cocaine, steroids and shotguns.

“This is one we’ve ever had in Suffolk County,” Spota said. “This is a huge dent in the cocaine trade in Suffolk County.”

Spota said NYPD stickers, and even rosary beads couldn’t help the crooks hide their cocaine.

The four suspects told a judge they are innocent. The district attorney said they could face 25 years to life.

Sound off on the story below…

More from Jennifer McLogan
  • Taly

    The ones that chose to use drugs ruin there own lives let’s not forget about legal alcohol…so these guys doing what they had to do to pay bills especially in this economy don’t knock them grow some balls and get with the program which is make that money

  • Fat man

    Better get wet butter for that cornhole cause its gonna hurt..xo


    hypocrisy at its greatest….pharmacies pump more harmful drugs into people than any other drug. Half the time you do no know what your taking. There are bigger criminals to fry than these cocaine runners. Cocaine might be healthier than half the drugs you get from prescription drugs……its all because of the money FOLKS. NO ONE REALLY CARES. YOU CAN BUY COCAINE AT ANY CITY YOU CHOOSE……ITS BEEN HERE FOR DECADES, NOT GOING ANYWHERE. ITS ALL BECAUSE OF THE BENJAMINS.. NO ONE CARE IF YOU LIVE OR DIE. MORE PEOPLE ARE AFFECTED BY OBESITY THAN COCAINE, JUST GO TO YOUR LOCAL SCHOOL AND SEE ALL THE FAT UNHEALTHY KIDS. DIABETES, HEART FAILURES, ETC. THE GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO FOCUS ON BETTER EDUCATION THAN CHASING GUYS TRYING TO MAKE MONEY BECAUSE THE DEMAND IS BIGGER THAN THE SUPPLY. WAKE UP FOLKS.

    • Jose

      Nice comment! Get over it he is goin to prison.. Rob will be a good wife in thier

  • Not a lewsa like U

    Wow, what a effed up comment! Hope you never go to jail pretty boy!

  • D

    My heart breaks for Robs family! They must be going through very hard times these days. These people will have to pay for their crimes and unfortunately their families will pay as well.

    • D

      Before you SHAME me, If you read my comment again, I said they will have to pay for their crimes! I have every right without being shamed for feeling sorry for the families of these criminals. They too will loose loved ones. The same way I feel sorry for people like you who have lost loved ones because they CHOOSE to do drugs, I feel sorry for people who have relatives who CHOOSE to commit crimes. In the end, people (both drug addicts and criminals) need to realize that their actions affect not only them but the people who love them.

  • dennis R

    if someone wants to get high, that is their choice, the government shouldn’t tell them what they can and can’t do. To keep a PLANT illegal and cost the taxpayers billions of dollars a year is stupid. What are we worried about the us population getting any dumber than what it already is, just look at the nyc police department ranks to figure that one out.

  • Sad mother

    I have a family member who overdosed from these drugs these crimanals put on the street.i will be at arragniments to make sure these murders get life for these crimes they have comited.shame on you.

  • Melvin

    Lmfao!!!! Hahaha..

  • DanTe

    Grease balls running a mob op? Say it isn’t so.

  • joe smithtown new york

    They should put them away so that when they come out it is in a morgue wagon for the lives that they have ruined.

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