Authorities busted a multimillion-dollar heroin ring Tuesday that operated in Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island, arresting alleged dealers including a retired police officer and a college student who sold drugs in her family's restaurant parking lot.
Among those charged were a retired Suffolk County Marine Bureau Police officer and a young woman who allegedly dealt heroin in the parking lot of the Corner Gallery restaurant in Massapequa.
Other street-level dealers arrested Tuesday included the spouse of an NYPD officer and a husband and wife team from Farmingville.
The arrests were part of a lengthy probe into the drug on Long Island, where it has been a persistent problem. The Suffolk County police department and the NYPD assisted in the investigation, and authorities said the heroin operation provided a significant amount of the heroin sold on Long Island.
In all, prosecutors said 20 suspects were charged in “Operation County Connection.” Two were still being sought Tuesday.
Police said leaders of the gang worked out of Woodhaven, Queens with the heroin stored in a Brooklyn warehouse. The drugs would then be shipped to Nassau and Suffolk Counties for sale by the suspected dealers.
The FBI said the gang sold more than $2.75 million in illegal drugs in the last nine months.
Authorities seized $30,000 worth of heroin, cash and other paraphernalia on Tuesday.
“This office is committed to using coordinated law enforcement techniques to rid our streets and neighborhoods from the scourge of heroin and other controlled substances,” said U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch.
If convicted, the suspects face a minimum of 10 years in prison.
Published at 8:43 AM EDT on Mar 13, 2012 | Updated at 8:21 PM EDT on Mar 13, 2012
Copyright Associated Press / NBC New York