MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Authorities in Nassau County say they have broken up a drug trafficking ring in Long Beach.

Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced Friday that five men, including an alleged member of the Latin Kings gang, have been taken into custody as part of a 14-month investigation.

Singas said “Operation Beech Sweep” started in June of 2017 after a tip led them to the alleged drug dealers on Long Island.

Ringleader Robert Gause is accused of receiving shipments of cocaine from Carlos Andujar, the alleged gang member.

Carlos Andujar (Credit: Nassau County District Attorney’s Office)

Gause then supplied the drugs to suspects Rodney Coward, Ronnie Sutton, and Harold Chestnut who sold them in several Long Island towns.

“These defendants allegedly poisoned our communities by buying and selling staggering amounts of drugs for many years,” DA Singas said in a statement.

“With the help of the Nassau County Police Department, the Long Beach Police Department, and the Freeport Police Department, the DA Squad was able to make a significant dent in the flow of drugs into Long Beach and surrounding communities.”

A raid of Gause’s home reportedly recovered over half a kilogram of drugs, 100 pills, a loaded revolver, and a shotgun.

Gause and his three alleged drug pushers face between nine and 14 years in prison if convicted.

Andujar, charged with Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree, faces up to 24 years in prison.