MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Authorities on Long Island say they’ve broken up a large heroin ring and arrested dozens of people, including a pregnant woman, on drug charges.
Nassau County prosecutors are calling it the largest narcotics takedown in Long Island history. They say the heroin ring operated along Route 110 in Nassau and Suffolk counties.
In addition to substantial quantities of heroin and cocaine, authorities said Tuesday they also recovered eight guns, including pistols, two shotguns and an AK-47 assault rifle, and more than a dozen automobiles.
“This is the poison that fed the addiction of hundreds, thousands of our neighbors, friends, and relatives,” Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said Tuesday as she announced the 36 indictments along with another five arrests.
The bust is the result of a nine-month-long investigation, where authorities say the drug crew brought in about $40,000 to $50,000 a week selling individual bags of heroin. The drugs were allegedly sold outside hotels, restaurants, gas stations, strip malls and coffee shops at all hours of the day.
“The task force dedicated significant resources to this investigation including electronic surveillance, street level surveillance, good old fashioned detective work, and controlled purchases,” Singas said.
The group consisted of a multi-tiered operation with three suppliers, 15 distributors, and 18 re-sellers who operated independently. The drugs were allegedly stored at homes in Farmingdale, Lindenhurst, West Babylon, and Bayshore with the main distribution home in North Amityville.
“These individuals turned Route 110 into their own personal heroin highway,” Singas said.
Lindenhurst resident Laura Furnell lives near one of the homes that was raided early Tuesday morning.
“I heard a big crash and then yelling,” she said. “We came out here and the place was covered with police cars.”
She said she never would have suspected what was going on in her neighborhood.
“Heroin is more potent and deadlier now than it has ever been in New York,” Drug Enforcement Agency Special Agent in Charge James Hunt said Tuesday. “This organization was profiting off heroin’s potency by selling heroin bundles from locations, including hotels, along Route 110 that paved drug corridors to households in Nassau and Suffolk Counties.”
The DA’s office says their investigation is far from over and hopes Tuesday’s bust sends a strong message, that these activities will not be tolerated.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)