6 Arrested in Massive L.I. Pot, Crack-Dealing Takedown

Authorities dismantle crack-cocaine, marijuana ring in Nassau County

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    Cops took down a massive drug operation that both manufactured and sold crack-cocaine and marijuana on Long Island, authorities said Wednesday.

    Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced that a joint investigation between her office and local and county police led to the arrests of six individuals, including 49-year-old James Blatchly, of Locust Valley, who stands accused of running the crack ring and two pot grow house operations. 

    It wasn't immediately clear how much was seized or what the drugs were worth.

    Blatchly was arrested Tuesday and charged with various counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal sale of a controlled substance, criminal possession of marijuana, criminal conspiracy, criminal use of drug paraphernalia and criminal possession of a weapon. 

    Rice said the investigation, which began with a tip from a concerned citizen, uncovered the Locust Valley crack-dealing ring. Authorities took it down with the help of surveillance and wiretapping provided by the DA's office. 

    "These drug dealers and illegal drugs are now off the streets because of the joint efforts of law enforcement at both the county and local level," Rice said. "We will continue to be vigilant in finding the locations of marijuana grow houses and dismantling them."

    Authorities charged five men in addition to Blatchly in connection with the bust, including Thomas McCarthy and Robert Nelson, both of Locust Valley, Jeffery Ergen of Bayville, and Gregory Ergen and Salvatore Marino, whose hometowns weren't named.

    It wasn't immediately clear whether any of the men had lawyers or whether Jeffrey and Gregory Ergen were related.

    All of the men, with the exception of Nelson, were charged criminal conspiracy. Jeffrey Ergen faces only that charge, while the four other men face varying criminal charges related to weapons and drug possession and intent to sell.