New York Law Enforcement Takes Down Huge Heroin Ring, Drug Kingpin
Yesterday, on what was ironically recognized as International Overdose Awareness Day, Staten Island law enforcement announced that eleven persons were apprehended for their participation in a drug trafficking operation.
Among those arrested included drug kingpins Louis Caraballo of Queens and Joseph Brefo-Sarpong of Manhatten, both 35 years old. Both are charged with operating as a major trafficker, under the state’s Drug Kingpin statute. This charge indicates that they sold and possessed more than $75,000 of heroin in less than six months. Most of the remaining suspects reside on Staten Island.
The drug distribution operation allegedly took in $20,000 per week, making it the longest running and most active heroin trafficking ring on Staten Island. The community has suffered from a heroin epidemic for many years now.
According to prosecutors, dealers would sell drugs outside of Dunkin’ Donuts and McDonald’s restaurants across the borough, as well as Staten Island Mall, shopping centers, and train stations. So far, the bust has obtained 948 heroin packets, $28,000 cash, and two armed weapons.
Police made multiple undercover deals, dating back as far as October 2014. In June 2015, a large takedown resulted in 14 arrests.
New York Police Department Inspector and Staten Island narcotics bureau commanding officer Dominick D’Orazio:
“Their price was $50 a bundle. $20,000 per week.”
“These are the kind of guys who made it so accessible. All you had to do is dial the dispatcher. You weren’t dealing with the actual person who was selling the heroin.”
Staten Island District Attorney Michael McMahon:
“Today’s major takedown will deal a devastating blow to the borough’s drug trade and make Staten Island a safer place.”
According to National Seizure System data, United States heroin seizures have increased 80% over five years. That’s 3,733 kilograms (8,229 pounds) in 2011 to 6,722 kilograms (14,819 pounds) in 2015.
Also, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration, in 2014, 10,574 Americans died from heroin-related overdoses, which is more than triple the number in 2010.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that opioids (including heroin and prescription drugs) were associated with more than 28,500 overdose deaths in 2014. Overdoses of these drugs have quadruapled since 2000.
~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology