Eric Rabe, of Cortlandt Manor, caught selling heroin, cops say
The same day two Croton brothers overdosed on heroin, cops arrested a Cortlandt Manor man for allegedly dealing the drug locally as they continue their crackdown.
Eric Rabe, 23, was arrested Tuesday after detectives caught him making a drug deal on Westbrook Drive in Cortlandt, the Westchester County Police Department said.
Rabe was arrested at 2 p.m., less than an hour after the body of 25-year-old Michael Landers was found in the bedroom of the Wren Drive home in Cortlandt that he shared with his father and his brother, Michael. Michael Landers, 27, also overdosed on heroin, police believe. He was found alive and conscious and was rushed to Phelps Memorial Hospital Center in Sleepy Hollow, where he remained for treatment.
Although cops say all indications point to both brothers overdosing on heroin, a preliminary conclusion reinforced by the presence of heroin paraphernalia in the house, they'll have to wait for test results to declare an official cause of death.
An autopsy was conducted on George Landers early Wednesday, the Westchester County medical examiner's office said. The file is listed as "pending further study," and authorities will wait for the results of a toxicology test to determine whether heroin was in the Croton man's blood.
Rabe is "suspected of being a heroin dealer" in the area, county police said. They found 30 packets of heroin on Rabe when they arrested him and found 64 more bags -- plus $1,800 in cash -- when they executed a search warrant on his Trolley Road home in Cortlandt Manor, police said.
He was charged with felony third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, as well as misdemeanor criminal possession of a controlled substance. The investigation into Rabe's alleged heroin sales had been going on for about a month and was not prompted by the Croton overdoses, but county Police Commissioner George N. Longworth said the arrest was part of an ongoing effort to combat heroin in the area.
County police are "committed to combat drug dealing by investigating both large-scale distribution networks as well as street level dealers," a statement from Longworth reads.
Cops in northern Westchester County and Putnam County have stepped up investigations into heroin sales since four men died of heroin overdoses within the same week in early December 2012. Police began working with the Putnam County Health Department after those deaths were reported. A similar string of heroin-related deaths happened in Orange County a month earlier, when three people died from Oct. 11 to Oct. 16.
Earlier this month, Putnam County sheriff's deputies announced that they had seized $6,000 worth of heroin from Grigory Yarmarkov, a Southeast man cops described as a "midlevel supplier" to local drug dealers. That arrest yielded 450 heroin packets.
In January, sheriff's deputies arrested 23-year-old Franyelis Ramos, a Southeast man who police said moved 1,000 packets of the drug per week.
And on Dec. 19, State Police and local cops nabbed four people from Somers and Yorktown -- including Peter Muir, 25, and his sister Alora Muir, 19 -- and charged them with criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell.
On Wednesday, Westchester County police said the packets seized from Rabe sell for $15 individually and $10 when purchased in bulk packages of 10 envelopes each. With customers who are addicted to the drug, heroin is extremely profitable for dealers. Ramos, whose case is still pending, earned $12,000 each week from heroin sales, cops said.