12 suspected gang members busted in Suffolk drug distribution operation

Prosecutors say the suspected gang members were dealing drugs in Riverhead, in the Hamptons and in central Suffolk County.

News 12 Staff

Apr 23, 2021, 8:20 PM

Updated 1,176 days ago

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The Suffolk County Prosecutor's Office announced Thursday the takedown of 12 suspected gang members as part of a drug distribution operation.
Prosecutors say the suspected gang members were dealing drugs in Riverhead, in the Hamptons and in central Suffolk County.
Suffolk County District Attorney Tim Sini says the 12 suspects who were indicted Thursday were members of the 18th Street Gang and were pocketing more than $75,000 a month in profits, cocaine and crack methamphetamines. Sini says the 18th Street Gang is a rival to the notorious MS-13 gang.
"These gangs are essentially terrorist groups, and they are not welcome in Suffolk County," says Sini.
Sini says a multi-agency operation raided seven locations across Suffolk. He says detectives found guns, drugs and cash.
Prosecutors say most of the drug deals were small hand-to-hand deals, but that many were caught on wiretap phone calls setting up deals.
"This was a multi-month wiretap investigation that ended in the arrest and prosecution of major drug traffickers. In fact, they're charged with the top felony count called operating as a major trafficker, which carries a sentence of 25 years to life," says Sini.
Prosecutors say they've arrested the alleged ringleaders of the drug operation and that those five men are being held on multimillion-dollar bonds.
Attorneys for two of the men pleaded not guilty for their clients and say they are examining the prosecution's 122-page indictment.
Sini says investigators have been putting this case together since last summer and have dealt a major blow to the gang-controlled drug trade in the county.
Prosecutors say law enforcement is actively searching for three more suspects.


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