MINEOLA - Nassau police say seven men are facing charges in connection with a major heroin distribution ring on the South Shore.
Police say they recovered 3,500 packets of heroin, 3 kilos of cocaine, 20 pounds of mixing agents and cash. Among those charged are a father and his two sons, and the alleged ringleader lives across the street from a day care center, police say.
"This was a major distribution that was responsible for dealing 10,000 decks of heroin a week along the South Shore of Nassau County," says Nassau Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter.
Krumpter says the investigation began in March, when police received a tip that large amounts of heroin were being distributed throughout the towns of Merrick, Massapequa, Seaford and Wantagh. The suspects' phones were wire-tapped as detectives gathered enough information to make the arrests, police say.
The alleged ringleader, 35-year-old Brian Jones, of Freeport, allegedly hid drugs in the center console of his car to smuggle them from the Bronx onto Long Island. He has been charged with operating as a major trafficker, and he's also charged with conspiracy and numerous counts of criminal sale and criminal possession of a controlled substance.
The other suspects have been identified as Sean Arias, 28, of Merrick; Jesse Arias, 37, of Long Beach; Reynaldo A. Arias, 58, of Long Beach; William Johnson, 61, of Long Beach; Robert Baumberger, 26, of Merrick; and Pedro Ramirez, 37, of the Bronx. They are facing charges that include criminal sale of a controlled substance, criminal possession, conspiracy and criminal facilitation.
Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas says the arrests send a clear message. "If you're dealing drugs, if you're dealing cocaine or heroin on our streets in Nassau County, you will be apprehended and you will be prosecuted,” she warned.