Juan Muniz had the street address of a Brooklyn apartment tattooed on the knuckles of his hand and for good reason, prosecutors said today.
That apartment, they allege, was the hub of a major distribution ring that carried heroin from New York to Long Island.
Muniz, 32, of Richmond Hill, and his brother Carlos, 36, are among fourteen people arrested in a six-month drug probe involving Suffolk authorities, the NYPD and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.
At a Hauppauge news conference today, investigators detailed using undercover detectives, electronic surveillance and wiretaps to build a case against the Muniz brothers and others.
"The Muniz heroin enterprise is notable for its marketing bravado," Suffolk district attorney Thomas Spota said.
According to Spota, the brothers added an extra bag of heroin for customers buying a "bundle" - instead of the normal ten bags, they provided eleven.
Customers coming to the Atlantic Avenue address to buy drugs had to adhere to a strict protocol, investigators said.
They were allegedly required to call from the Jackie Robinson Parkway before arriving to pick up the heroin and before entering the building, had to call again. Finally, the Muniz brothers demanded a third call after the pick-up so they could confirm the customer was back on the Jackie Robinson, returning to Long Island.
Both Muniz brothers have pleaded not guilty to the charges against them. Both are being held on bail at the Suffolk county jail.
In all, seven search warrants were executed as part of the investigation and written records of drug transactions were confiscated, prosecutors said.
When the NYPD arrived at the Atlantic Street apartment, Carlos Muniz tossed 35 bags of heroin out the window, in an attempt to dispose of evidence, prosecutors said. Police also discovered police radios, scanner equipment and a bulletproof vest.