ELMONT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A husband and wife are accused of selling heroin out of their basement apartment in Elmont, Nassau County police said.
Thomas McKinley, 53, and his wife Lorraine Bianchini, 61, were arrested Monday around 12:30 p.m. during an undercover operation, police said.
The couple had clients from all over Nassau County, Police Commissioner Thomas Dale said.
“He had his own little network,” Dale said. “He wasn’t a major dealer, but he had his own little quite substantive network here in Nassau County that was feeding a lot of our heroin addicts.”
McKinley was charged with second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and three counts of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance.
Bianchini was charged with second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.
During the investigation, police also arrested two of their alleged customers.
Maggie Caballero, 26, of East Rockaway was arrested after buying four glassine envelopes of heroin and Grant Marshall, 25, of Copiague was arrested after buying 10 glassine envelopes of heroin, police said.
Caballero and Marshall are both charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.
CBS 2 has reported extensively on the heroin epidemic in Nassau County. As CBS 2′s Dana Tyler reported, on Tuesday, officials acknowledged the widespread fallout from the problem.
“We’ve all seen the damaging effects of this, from the loss of opportunity to those that become addicted to the struggle and strife that families face,” Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano said.
Officials said so far this year, there have been 45 heroin overdoses resulting in four fatalities in Nassau County.
“This one particular time we were able to get a nice little network out from under our citizens,” Dale said.
Police said 1,534 bags of heroin, 50 Alprazolam pills and cash were recovered from the home.
The arrests came following a three month investigation, according to authorities.
At their arraignment at First District Court in Hempstead Tuesday, McKinley and Bianchini pleaded not guilty and are due back in court on Thursday.