Thursday, December 19, 2019

Long Island NY: “Sneakerhead Kingpins” Heroin Ring Busted

Yaqui for Borderland Beat from: NYPost / DEA.gov


More than a dozen people have been charged for their alleged involvement in a Long Island heroin syndicate that raked in $30,000 in weekly profits — including a pair of "Sneakerhead" kingpins who sometimes took pairs of Jordans sneakers as payment, authorities said Tuesday.

The Nassau County District Attorney’s office said it has indicted 15 people for their involvement in the ring, which sold between 13,000 and 26,000 doses of heroin per month and has been tied to 15 overdoses — three of which were fatal.

The alleged ringleaders, Brooklynites Luis Rivera and Orlando Rodriguez, allegedly ran the syndicate for six years, prosecutors say.  Note: US DEA Indictment next page 


Authorities conducted raids at their shared apartment in East New York on Dec. 13, where they found 175 pairs of Jordans, $383,000 in cash and a large stash of heroin valued at $325,000.

Nassau County DA spokeswoman Miriam Sholder told The Post that prosecutors believe Rivera and Rodriguez took the sneakers as payment for their product.

During a four-month investigation, authorities allege Rivera and Rodriguez dropped their product off to 13 street-level dealers, also named in the indictment, at the Gateway Shopping Center in East New York.

From there, the dealers took the merchandise east and sold it to customers in Nassau and Suffolk counties, prosecutors say.

In addition to the pair’s apartment, police also raided a stash house on 72nd Road in Flushing, Queens, and seized money and drugs from two safety deposit boxes and a Honda Pilot that the duo allegedly used to traffic drugs, prosecutors said.
All told, police seized a combined $1.2 million worth of heroin and $1.2 million in cash, prosecutors said.

Nassau County DA Madeline Singas called the drug syndicate the “largest known heroin trafficking operation” in Nassau County.

“Heroin from this syndicate has been linked to at least three fatal overdoses, and we know that putting these alleged traffickers out of business will save lives,” Singas said in a statement.

Rivera, Rodriguez and seven other defendants in the indictment were arraigned Monday before a Nassau County judge. Rivera, Rodriguez and alleged dealer Joseph Melito were held without bail while other defendants were released.

Rivera, Rodriguez and Melito are each charged with operating as major traffickers and other distribution charges. If convicted they face 25 years to life in prison.

Lawyers for the three did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas, Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder and the Long Island Heroin Taskforce announced that 15 people, including three major traffickers, have been indicted for their alleged roles in a drug operation that spanned Nassau, Suffolk, Kings and Queens Counties.

In total, 88,000 individual doses of heroin worth approximately $1,276,400, 1,024 grams of cocaine valued at $102,400 and $1,214,093 in cash were seized during this investigation.

Additionally, three bank accounts with $262,900 were frozen.

DA Singas said that beginning in July 2019, the NCDA, NCPD and Long Island Heroin Taskforce began an investigation into a drug operation that allegedly sold heroin to customers from Nassau, Suffolk and New York City. The drugs were allegedly sold from the parking lot of the Gateway Shopping Center in East New York, Brooklyn, for more than six years.

During the four-month investigation, alleged ringleaders Luis Rivera and Orlando Rodriguez – who are charged with operating as major traffickers – allegedly sold between 1,300 and 2,600 bundles (13,000 to 26,000 individual doses) of heroin per month to 74 different customers, including 13 alleged street dealers charged in this indictment. One of those alleged dealers, Joseph Melito, is also charged as a major trafficker.

During the investigation, Rivera and Rodriguez’s alleged profits averaged approximately $30,000 per week and totaled $230,000 in heroin and cocaine sales.

The 13 other dealers charged in this indictment allegedly traveled from towns on Long Island, including Garden City, Valley Stream, Bellmore, Albertson, Wantagh and Hicksville, to the Gateway Shopping Center to purchase heroin from Rivera and Rodriguez, who are believed to be cousins.

Heroin originally distributed by Rivera is allegedly connected to 15 overdoses – 13 in Nassau and two in Suffolk. Three of the overdoses in Nassau were fatal.

Of the ring’s 74 customers, 54 have been identified as coming from Nassau County, 16 from Suffolk County and five from New York City.

“This massive operation has dismantled the largest known heroin trafficking operation in Nassau County, disrupting the flow of this deadly poison into our communities,” DA Singas said. “Heroin from this syndicate has been linked to at least three fatal overdoses, and we know that putting these alleged traffickers out of business will save lives. I commend our partners for their outstanding collaboration in this operation, and for their unstinting commitment to ending the opioid epidemic.”

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said, “We are in the midst of a serious nationwide addiction crisis, and every single bust makes a difference. I applaud our dedicated law enforcement officials and the Long Island Heroin Taskforce for their collaborative efforts and success in taking down these major drug traffickers, dismembering the largest known heroin trafficking operation in Nassau County. We are not taking our foot off the gas. Together, we will continue our commitment to rid our streets of this poison and keep historic low crime rates in Nassau County.”

Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said, “Today’s announcement of the Operation Gateway investigation by the Long Island Heroin Task Force produced a historical amount of arrests, seizures of US currency and dangerous drugs in our region.  Our combined efforts have taken these drugs and their dealers off the streets making it more difficult for drugs to get in the hands of our residents, thus making our communities even safer. I would like to congratulate all of the investigators and their respective agencies for all of their dedication and hard work over the past six months.”

“The culmination of this months-long investigation ensures that a drug trafficking operation that has been poisoning neighborhoods and families across Long Island has been dismantled,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart said. “I would like to thank the Long Island Heroin Task Force for its commitment to getting these deadly drugs off our streets. Collaborating with our law enforcement partners is critical in the fight to rid the Island of narcotics and help save the lives of the addicted.”

“This organization was making millions of dollars from heroin sales, encouraging opioid abuse throughout Long Island and New York City,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Ray Donovan. “I applaud our partners at the Long Island Heroin Task Force, the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office and the Nassau County Police Department for their dogged efforts in dismantling these significant drug traffickers.”

“It is alleged that this criminal enterprise flooded Nassau Country streets with heroin, with Rivera being connected to more than a dozen overdoses, three of which resulted in death,” said Peter C. Fitzhugh, special agent in charge of HSI New York. “Law enforcement continues to come together with the common goal of protecting our communities and ridding the streets of the bringing in the highly addictive and, in some cases, deadly drugs.”

On Dec. 13, law enforcement officials executed search warrants on the Brooklyn home – 911 Euclid Avenue – of Rivera and his wife, co-defendant Nicolette Barba, which they shared with Rodriguez. Inside, police recovered more than $383,000 cash; 963 grams of heroin with a street value of $325,000; more than 5,800 individual glassines of heroin worth $58,000; and approximately 33 grams of cocaine worth $3,300.

Inside the apartment, investigators also found 175 pairs of Jordan sneakers, worth approximately $30,000 and several safe deposit box keys.

Two of the safe deposit boxes have been opened – and inside one police found $440,100 in cash and in the other $390,100 in cash.

Rivera and Rodriquez allegedly used a stash house in Flushing, Queens – 150-29 72nd Road – to store heroin and cocaine, and while executing a search warrant, police found an additional 800 grams of heroin valued on the street at $240,000, 26,730 individual glassines of heroin ready for sale worth $267,300 and 980 grams of cocaine worth $98,000.

Rivera and Rodriquez allegedly used a Honda Pilot to sell their drugs, and during a search of the vehicle, police allegedly found 910 glassines of heroin worth $9,100, 11 grams of cocaine worth $11,000 and $165 cash inside a trap in the console of the vehicle.

The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are likely.

Defendant arraignment addendum:

Luis Rivera, 40, of Brooklyn, was arraigned yesterday before Judge William O’Brien and charged with two counts of operating as a major trafficker (an A-I felony), four counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree (a B felony), conspiracy in the second degree (a B felony) and 25 counts of conspiracy in the fourth degree (an E felony). The defendant was remanded and is due back in court Dec. 27. If convicted of the top count, he faces 25 years to life in prison.

Orlando Rodriguez, 36, of Brooklyn, was arraigned yesterday before Judge William O’Brien and charged with two counts of operating as a major trafficker (an A-I felony) and 25 counts of conspiracy in the fourth degree (an E felony). The defendant was remanded and is due back in court on Dec. 27. If convicted of the top count, he faces 25 years to life in prison.

Joseph Melito, 30, of Albertson, was arraigned today before Judge William O’Brien and charged with operating as a major trafficker (an A-I felony), criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree (a B felony), criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree (a B felony) and two counts of conspiracy in the fourth degree (an E felony). The defendant was remanded and is due back in court on Dec. 27. If convicted of the top count, he faces a maximum of 25 years to life in prison.

Nicolette Barba, 36, of Brooklyn, was arraigned yesterday before Judge William O’Brien and charged with two counts of conspiracy in the fourth degree (an E felony). Bail was set at $150,000 cash or $150,000 bond and she is due back in court Dec. 27. If convicted of the top count, she faces a maximum of one to four years in prison.

Emily Hlavaty, 55, of Syosset, was arraigned yesterday before Judge William O’Brien and charged with two counts of conspiracy in the fourth degree (an E felony). The defendant was released on her own recognizance and is due back in court Dec. 26. If convicted of the top count, she faces one to four years in prison.

Peter Humann, 44, of Huntington, was arraigned yesterday before Judge William O’Brien and charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree (a B felony), criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree (a B felony) and two counts of conspiracy in the fourth degree (an E felony). The defendant was released on his own recognizance and is due back in court Jan. 17. If convicted of the top count, he faces a maximum of nine years in prison.

Christine Kaempf, 37, of North Bellmore, was arraigned yesterday before Judge William O’Brien and charged with two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree (a B felony), two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree (a B felony) and two counts of conspiracy in the fourth degree (an E felony). The defendant was released on her own recognizance and is due back in court Dec. 27. If convicted of the top count, she faces a maximum of one to four years in prison.

Judy Miller, 51, of Brightwaters, was arraigned yesterday before Judge William O’Brien and charged with two counts of conspiracy in the fourth degree (an E felony). The defendant was released on her own recognizance and is due back in court Dec. 27. If convicted of the top count, she faces a maximum of two to four years in prison.

Michael Gashonia, 36, of Wantagh, was arraigned yesterday before Judge William O’Brien and charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree (a B felony), criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree (a B felony) and two counts of conspiracy in the fourth degree (an E felony). The defendant was released on his own recognizance and is due back in court Dec. 27. If convicted of the top count, he faces a maximum of one to four years in prison.

The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.

Senior Assistant District Attorneys Victoria Mauri and Gregory Murphy of DA Singas’ Special Operations Narcotics and Gangs Bureau are prosecuting this case.

18 comments:

  1. I must have good eyesight I see over 5 mill plus

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  2. Good job now catch the next one and the next one and the next one and so on and so on forever and ever!

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    1. Mr 11:16 well thank you, that's our job.
      Special Agent
      Southwest Division

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    2. Ya, well if you are who you say you are then you really do a shitty job and should be fired. The DEA and FBI are a fucking joke your leaders are a bunch of criminals themselves and lack any credibility after we've found out just how corrupt they are. If we actually want people to live up to the oath's they take and after being given the incredible power they have to ruin other peoples lives when these people are caught violating the people's trust they should go away for life and I mean absolute life not that BS we hear in court every day.

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  3. I knew drug prices were higher the further north that it travels but this must be some really primo stuff. "11 grams of cocaine worth $11,000"

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    1. Im sure they meant 1100 dollars judging by tge other calculations...You can get a buck a gram on the island where everything is more expensive..

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  4. QUOTE: Heroin from this syndicate has been linked to at least three fatal overdoses, and we know that putting these alleged traffickers out of business will save lives,” Singas said in a statement :END QUOTE

    LoL Not even chapo behind bars is gonna safe lives. Singas doesn’t even believe this he just said it to people that actually are ignorant.

    H

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    1. If one person who's tryna get clean, cant get drugs for one day, bc the dealer got busted, it's a success

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  5. They said 11 gs of cocaine worth 11,000?? Are grams of cocaine really going for 1,000 each up there 😂sounds like bs

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  6. "11 grams of cocaine worth $11,000" Damn it must be some good stuff haha

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    1. Anything that moves East triples in price coke out in Cali is 30 to 50 a key and it probably super cut lol

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    2. 125 if that’s what you’re paying that much for a brick in Cali then I have a bridge I wanna sell you lol no sabes de lo que hablas

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  7. 175 pairs as sort of payment? I know a few Jordan collectors and in they had this kind of money they'd own 175 pair or more! Lol...

    Or they sold them. Some fetch more than 250/500 a pair!

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  8. DA Singas is a career official who knows nothing about reality or is lying out of her ass: "we know that putting these alleged traffickers out of business will save lives”.

    REALLY! So the addicts simply 'don't do drugs' anymore Singas?

    Well Mrs stupid let me tell you the rival right next door have just moved in and is making brisk business in Nassau and Suffolk!

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    1. 5:57 the Red Mafiya does not waste time,
      they probably mixed their own shit with the Porkshops' to make them fall and take over, the boss needs a lotta money right naw.

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  9. The police act like these are the only people in the area who sell drugs! They just handed that territory off to somebody else. Always someone else to fill the void. It's a defeatist attitude I know but we all know how this works.

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  10. Great excellent 👍 catches, drugs and money siezed. Furthermore the full names and ages were put in, DEA does not mess around.

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    1. 7:23 just in time for chrissmiss, bonuses have alreddy been spent.
      The partner agencies had to have been "working" this catch for a long time, but they won't make arrests until they find where the stash at.
      The shoes must be pirated merca...FTS.

      Delete

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