5 accused of smuggling drugs into Nassau County jail

Posted: Updated:
EAST MEADOW -

Three Long Islanders and two Nassau jail inmates are facing charges for allegedly attempting to sneak marijuana, synthetic marijuana, heroin and Suboxone into the Nassau County Correctional Facility.

District Attorney Madeline Singas said the arrests were part of “Operation United Front,” which included the DA’s office, Nassau County Sherriff’s Office, Nassau County Police Department and United States Postal Inspection Service.

Prosecutors said the operation began in November 2017 when a drug-sniffing dog discovered Valerie Ritchwood was trying to smuggle two balloons containing K2 synthetic marijuana along with marijuana and Suboxone.

The others facing charges include Dominique Horne, 33, of Hempstead, who was arrested on July 19; Christopher Wright, 32, an inmate at NCCC who was arraigned on Aug. 2; Natasha Hyslop, 40, of Hempstead, who was arraigned on July 26; and Julius Eatman, 52, an inmate of NCCC, who was arraigned on Jan. 21.

Prosecutors said Eatman instructed Hyslop on how to obtain, package and mail him heroin and Suboxone inside the jail.

Rick Whelan, chief of the Organized Crime and Rackets Bureau, said having drugs of any kind inside the jail could lead to some dangerous situations.

"Once they're released to the jail population, it may lead to violent acts. For instance, one inmate knows another inmate has drugs and may try to rob him," said Whelan.

Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said in prepared remarks that “these arrests are a direct result of the hard work and tireless efforts of the men and woman from the different agencies working as one.”

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