Two Long Islanders face up to 50 years in prison after they were arrested in Rhode Island last week when state police stopped their vehicle and seized more than 8 pounds of heroin hidden under bottles of nutritional supplement, officials said.
Rhode Island State Police said that on Sept. 9 about 3:30 p.m., a trooper stopped a vehicle driven by Kalen Antoine, 23, of 182 Brown Ave., Hempstead, along Interstate 95 North in Warwick after discovering the car had a canceled Maryland registration. After the stop, the trooper also found that Antoine's New York State driver's license had been suspended, authorities said.
Sergio Torres, 20, of 91 Eighth Ave., West Babylon, was the passenger in the vehicle, police said.
The trooper smelled marijuana from inside the car, while Torres and Antoine offered conflicting stories about where they were traveling to and from, police said.
A Warwick Police Department dog located the drugs inside a box containing bottles of Ensure.
Under the bottles, police said, were eight white packages labeled "Cafecito Rico" that contained 8 pounds of heroin.
"I commend the great work of our State Police in preventing these drugs from reaching Rhode Island families and want to acknowledge the important job our men and women in uniform do every day to confront our overdose epidemic," said Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo. "Like many states, we are losing far too many people to addiction and overdose."
Nicole Alexander-Scott, director of the Rhode Island Department of Health, said, "Getting such a large quantity of drugs off the streets is an enormous success for the State Police, and for all of Rhode Island."
Both men were charged with possession of heroin with intent to deliver, which carries a prison sentence of up to 50 years and a fine of up to $500,000. Antoine was also charged with operating a car with a suspended license and driving while in possession of a controlled substance.
Both men were arraigned and held pending a bail hearing on Sept. 24.