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Police Arrest 36 People In Sweeping Heroin Ring Take-Down

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Steve Birr Vice Reporter
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Police arrested 36 people in the biggest narcotics bust in Long Island history Tuesday, including a drug counselor and a woman seven months pregnant.

The arrests ended a nine-month-long investigation into the drug operation, dubbed the 110 crew, by officials from Nassau and Suffolk counties and agents of the Drug Enforcement Agency. Authorities conducted multiple raids Tuesday morning, seizing unspecified quantities of heroin and cocaine, eight guns including an AK-47 and more than a dozen vehicles, reports CBS New York.

The operation had a tiered structure, using three suppliers, 15 distributors and 18 re-sellers operating along Route 110 in Nassau and Suffolk counties. Authorities say the operation raked in roughly $40,000 to $50,000 a week.

“This is the poison that fed the addiction of hundreds, thousands of our neighbors, friends and relatives,” Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas said Tuesday, according to CBS New York. “These individuals turned Route 110 into their own personal heroin highway.”

One of the defendants is reportedly a drug counselor and another is allegedly a volunteer firefighter. An unidentified woman who acted as a re-seller is currently pregnant.

Officials said the scope of the bust shows how prevalent heroin abuse is in New York. The state experienced a 135.7 percent increase in synthetic opioid and heroin deaths between 2014 and 2015, one of the largest increases for a state.

Law enforcement is making progress in its fight against major drug traffickers in the region. Police busted a massive drug operation in February that distributed heroin cut with fentanyl in Staten Island, causing the overdose death of a pregnant woman. Amanda Dimarinis, one of those arrested in the bust, was a teacher at local middle school I.S. 49 and allegedly sold heroin cut with fentanyl on the property during her lunch breaks.

A joint investigation between the Bronx District Attorney’s Office, the New York City Police Department and the DEA over eight months culminated in a massive drug bust Jan. 31. Police arrested 32 people involved in an international heroin distribution ring, seizing more than 100 pounds of opioids worth roughly $22 million.

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Steve Birr