Cops: Couple selling heroin from Elmont home

Police said detectives recovered more than 1,500 bags of heroin, pills and cash at the Elmont home of a husband and wife. Videojournalist: Jim Staubitser (March 26, 2013) 

advertisement | advertise on newsday

An Elmont couple were arrested Tuesday and charged with running a heroin ring out of their home that supplied drug users and dealers across Nassau County, police said.

Police raided the couple's 1335 Times Ave. home Monday, recovering more than 1,500 glassine envelopes of heroin, pills and cash. A law enforcement source said each envelope was likely worth between $10 and $20 on the street, putting the overall value of the bust between $15,000 and $30,000.

Thomas McKinley, 53, and his wife, Lorraine Bianchini, 61, both pleaded not guilty to second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance at their arraignment Tuesday morning.

McKinley, who also was charged with two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, was held without bail. Bianchini was held on $500,000 bail, or $250,000 bond.

Both were represented by the Nassau County Legal Aid Society, which does not comment on individual cases. The two are due back in court Thursday.

"He was quite an entrepreneur," Nassau police Commissioner Thomas Dale said at a joint news conference with County Executive Edward Mangano. "He had quite a little network going."

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Police said McKinley had eight felony arrests dating to 1977, all of them drug-related.

A law enforcement source said McKinley and his wife were supplying not only drug users but also drug dealers, sometimes selling hundreds of bags at a time.

Also arrested in the bust were Maggie Caballero, 26, of 100 W. Blvd, East Rockaway, and Grant Marshall, 25, of 276 Manor Ave., Copiague, both of whom were customers of the couple, police said. Undercover officers saw Caballero and Marshall purchasing envelopes of heroin from the home, Dale said.

McKinley and Bianchini were arrested at 12:30 p.m. after officers executed a search warrant, during which police found an undisclosed amount of cash, 1,534 bags of heroin and 50 alprazolam pills -- the generic form of Xanax.

Caballero, who police said purchased four glassine envelopes of heroin, and Marshall, who police said purchased 10, each were charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Dale said the investigation began about three months ago and led them from Elmont to other parts of the county. He would not say how the investigation began or what led police to the couple.

You also may be interested in: