BY EDEN LAIKIN
Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano today announced that law enforcement officials in the County had arrested 15 gang members and associates, and dismantled a major drug trafficking ring that sold deadly Fentanyl-laced Heroin, as well as illegally-obtained prescription painkillers, from its operations in Freeport and Roosevelt.
The 5-month long investigation was a joint effort between the Nassau County Police Narcotics Vice Squad and its Major Case Bureau, and the District Attorney’s Street Narcotics Gang Unit, and resulted in the arrest of 14 members of the Bloods gang. Charges included not only selling drugs, but also engaging in illegal dog fighting in those same communities. Officers seized evidence from the crime scenes that showed the defendants were fighting, breeding and training Pit Bulls.
Fentanyl, a synthetic narcotic painkiller of extremely high potency, is to blame for 8 deaths in Nassau last year and another 12, in 2013.
This past March, County Executive Mangano issued a “Deadly Drug Alert” to warn the public of the narcotic fentanyl reemerging in the State and County, after Nassau’s Medical Examiner discovered, in January 2015, that Fentanyl was the cause of 3 deaths of people in their 20s,.
Yesterday morning, search warrants were executed in Roosevelt and Freeport. The investigation is ongoing.
County Executive Mangano commended “all those in law enforcement who helped to take down these drug dealers and slow the flow of narcotics into our neighborhoods.”
“The fact remains that too many young people have fallen victim to heroin and opioid addiction,” Mangano said. “This enforcement, combined with Nassau County’s comprehensive strategy of education, awareness, and treatment, is helping combat this nationwide crisis.”
Acting District Attorney Madeline Singas said that other drugs seized from the locations included Heroin, Xanax, Oxycodone and Codeine. And that the drug trafficking ring operated along the South Shore of the County, into Queens. Police Department records show the highest incidence of Opioid overdose deaths has been in Nassau’s South Shore communities.
The County Executive also called dog fighting, a heinous and barbaric crime, and applauded the efforts of Nassau police and the ASPCA for putting a stop to these dog fighting operations and helping to end the abuse inflicted on the animals. Eleven dogs were rescued during yesterday’s Operation Blood Sport, including 2 newborn puppies.
“Dog Fighting,” Singas said, was a “billion dollar enterprise” and often found along with the illegal trading or selling of guns.
After the announcement, the Nassau SPCA said it is offering $5,000 rewards to individuals who give information that lead to the arrest and conviction of anyone responsible for dog fighting.