Dubbed the “Hollywood Heroin Bust,” a joint police task force has dismantled what they called a major drug distribution ring that was allegedly running highly-potent heroin from Harlem to the Hamptons, Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said Wednesday.
At a Feb. 19 news conference in Riverhead, Spota said the nine arrests culminated a year-long investigation that included undercover detectives, informants and wire taps, as investigators probed the ring that allegedly trafficked drugs from East Harlem to the eastern tip of Long Island.
Six of the men arrested are accused of pushing the drugs on the street and selling the heroin to “addicts” in parking lots of Riverhead businesses, Spota said. They are: Leroy Langhorne, 41, or Riverside; Joseph Thomas, 41, of Mastic; Robert Baker, 46, of Riverhead; Jerome Trent, 58, of Riverhead; Farrow Sims, 42, of Calverton; and Leon Langhorne, 38, of Riverhead.
The crew, prosecutors allege, was responsible for distributing the “premium” heroin. They allegedly packaged the drugs into .03 gram increments and filled glassine envelopes that were stamped with the word “Hollywood.”
“There is no Hollywood ending to this particular case,” Spota said. “For the dealers, prison awaits them. For the addicts, if they’re lucky, years of drug rehabilitation. No glitz, no glamour, certainly no fame.”
During multiple searches in Riverhead, investigators seized more than 2,000 of the small bags that were being sold on the street for about $20 each, the DA said.
Detectives believe the crew was buying the heroin from three men in East Harlem. The men – 65-year-old Jose Calvente, 75-year-old Jose Morales and 52-year-old Carlos Ramos – were also charged as part of the massive drug bust. Spota said all three have a history of drug-related criminal charges, including multiple felony convictions.
“As soon as they get out of jail, they’re right back in business again,” Spota said. “Every single one of them knows nothing but selling drugs.”
In addition to recovering the bags of heroin, detectives also seized thousands of dollars in cash and drugs, a shotgun, a rifle, several cell phone and two cars, including a brand new Infiniti that Leon Langhorne allegedly bought with cash just a few days before his arrest.
A district attorney’s office spokesman said all nine men have already been arraigned.