New York

17 Arrested in ‘Massive' Cocaine, Heroin Operation That Flew Drugs on Commercial Flights to JFK Airport: Pros.

What to Know

  • The traffickers allegedly moved cocaine and heroin from Arizona to New York on commercial flights to Kennedy Airport
  • The drugs were then sold throughout New York City, Long Island, Upstate New York and locations as far away as Chicago, prosecutors say
  • At least 17 people have been arrested, including three family members who allegedly founded the drug ring out of Long Island

More than a dozen people have been charged with operating a drug enterprise that transported cocaine and heroin on commercial flights flying from Arizona to Kennedy Airport and “pumped huge quantities” of the drugs into New York and across the country, the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday.

The traffickers flew the cocaine and heroin from Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix to Kennedy Airport over the past year and a half, prosecutors said. The drugs were then allegedly stored in trap houses in Queens and Nassau counties before distribution.

The drugs were supplied to major dealers in New York City, Long Island, Upstate New York, Chicago, Maine, Maryland and Virginia, prosecutors allege.

Kervin Etienne, 37, Lyonel Beaubren, 41 and another relative allegedly founded the operation and supplied large quantities of cocaine and heroin to 14 members of their crew, according to prosecutors, who said the family members lived a life of luxury on Long Island.

Beaubren is charged with operating as a major trafficker, a felony. He faces up to 25 years to life in prison.

Investigators allegedly seized 5 ½ kilograms of cocaine, 4 ounces of heroin and $190,000 in cash. Two defaced guns, money counters, kilogram presses, packaging equipment, a Porsche, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and a Richard Millewatch were also seized, prosecutors said.

Twelve of the 17 defendants were arrested and arraigned Tuesday. Four more are incarcerated and awaiting arraignment, authorities said. The men and women, who range in age from 27 to 42, face a variety of serious charges related to drug trafficking and criminal possession of a controlled substance.

In a press release announcing the arrests, Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas called the bust a “massive takedown that has dismantled what we alleged to be a multi-state, cross country drug trafficking enterprise that pumped huge quantities of cocaine and deadly heroin into our communities and throughout the northeast.”

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