61-year-old Wantagh man charged in 2 fatal drug ODs

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WANTAGH -

Nassau police say they've arrested a 61-year-old Wantagh drug dealer in connection with two fatal overdoses in Suffolk County.

Benji Diskin, 61, faces numerous counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance. 

"He looks like a grandpa, never thought he fit the M.O.," says Kevin Bustamante, a tenant on Diskin's property.  "Very American life, in and out of the house with groceries."

But authorities say police caught him selling drugs on two separate occasions.

"He sold drugs, a lot of drugs," says Nassau Executive Laura Curran. "A wide variety of drugs, including crack cocaine."

A judge set his bond at $200,000 Sunday, and he remains in custody. Investigators say he sold about $36,000 worth of drugs every week.

Police executed a search warrant in his Twin Lane South home Sunday morning as well as a storage facility in Amityville. Authorities say they found oxycodone, heroin, cocaine and crack.

According to police, his drugs caused two people to overdose and die in Suffolk County in the last year. A third person overdosed in Nassau County.

He pleaded guilty in 2014 to selling crack and had been on supervised release from federal prison. His criminal record spans 40 years and two dozen arrests, most of them involving drug cases.

"He's been arrested 24 times since 1977," says Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder. "This district attorney is going to make sure he stays in jail. He should not be out there. He should not be selling drugs to our kids, in our neighborhoods."

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