MINEOLA - Nassau County officials announced Monday that more than $1 million worth of heroin was seized and seven people were arrested in a drug ring that spanned from Pennsylvania to Long Island.
Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas says the investigation started back in September, when 51-year-old Donna Martin, of Freeport, and a Queens man were arrested with 100 grams of heroin on them.
Six people were previously arrested and arraigned in connection with the alleged heroin ring. A seventh defendant, Ebony Felder, was extradited from Georgia and arraigned on conspiracy charges in Nassau County Monday.
Prosecutors say Victor McKeever, the alleged ringleader, directed the operation out of Pittsburgh. He is being held on $1 million bond after he was arrested last December, but officials say he fought extradition until last week.
Police say the heroin was cut with the anesthestic propofol or the painkiller fentanyl.
"When you add fentanyl into heroin, the likelihood of a fatal overdose is exponentially greater than heroin itself," says Acting Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter.
"The heroin was tested and it was found to be three times the purity we normally see, which makes it exceptionally deadly," Singas says.
Four out of the seven defendants face at least 20 years behind bars if convicted.
Officials say the arrests should send a powerful message to drug dealers.
"Law enforcement is out there looking for these drug pushers. They will arrest you," County Executive Ed Mangano warned.