Undercover Nassau officers recover over $1 million in drug bust
Nassau officials say they busted one of the biggest drug-dealing operations in the history of the county.
The Nassau County police commissioner, county executive and district attorney thanked the officers involved in a joint investigation with the Long Island Heroin Task Force. Officials say the force recovered $1.2 million in drug money and more than 88,000 doses of heroin.
They also say the operation is linked to 15 overdoses on the Island, three of them fatal.
Police say the drug operation was ran by cousins Luis Rivera and Orlando Rodriguez in Brooklyn. Then, they say, the cousins sold to 15 alleged drug dealers in Nassau.
The alleged dealers lived in, Garden City, Valley Stream, Bellmore, Albertson, Wantagh and Hicksville.
Officers say part of the drug dealing operation was run out of an SUV. The dealers had a secret compartment inside of the car where they hid their drugs.
Police say they have arrested all 15 people involved in this drug dealing operation. The 13 drug users who bought from the dealers were also arrested.
Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said undercover officers worked for many hours to make the bust possible, and that they were the "true heroes."
Jeffrey Reynolds, of the Family and Children's Association, says opioid overdoses and new users on the Island are down this year, but dealers are selling bigger amounts to current users.
Reynolds says although this bust is a big win, the drug epidemic isn't over yet. He says the next epidemic could be just around the corner.
"I think it's probably going to be Xanax, I think it's probably going to be benzodiazepines, because that's where we're seeing the biggest increases,” he says. “The cocaine use I would say we have seen more than a doubling of use on Long Island in the past year."