Forty people were indicted in a major narcotics trafficking ring on Long Island as part of what Nassau County officials dubbed "Operation Honeycomb."
County prosecutors and federal officials partnered on the investigation revealed on Monday the extent of their 18-month takedown. In total, 33 suspects have already been arrested or arraigned and seven remain at large.
Investigators allege nine major drug traffickers identified in the operation were distributing high-value narcotics throughout the tri-state, and as far out as California and Puerto Rico. The charges facing those traffickers, prosecutors say, could result in life sentences if convicted.
Throughout the course of the investigation, officials allege two of the suspects were discovered to be conducting business from unlicensed day care centers located in Hempstead and Rosedale.
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"Children were eating and playing and being cared for in the same space where cocaine was being packaged," Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said Monday.
More than $2.7 million in drugs -- cocaine, heroine, and fentanyl -- were seized by investigators as well as 38 firearms.
The pandemic fueled the drug business and had the alleged dealers shipping some drugs through the mail, prosecutors say. At least one fatal overdose has been linked to their ring.
Nassau officials say they named the operation after hearing many of the suspects on wiretapped phone calls refer to a home where they packaged and stored large volumes of drugs as the "honeycomb."