Long Beach cops: backhoe aided drug arrests

A backhoe and a wrong turn helped Long Beach officers arrest two men on drug and forged prescription charges, city police said Friday.

David Ortiz, 25, of Long Beach, and Sergio Vazquez, 35, of Far Rockaway, Queens, were arrested Wednesday following a low-speed chase, police said.

After the suspects' vehicle turned on to a road with construction activity, the men drove around a cement truck and found themselves facing the bucket of a backhoe, according to police.


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With the backhoe blocking the street, police said narcotics detectives used their cars to block the suspects' vehicle and make the arrests.

Officers found an unspecified quantity of oxycodone, a powerful prescription painkiller, along with a gravity knife and $2,000 in cash, police said.

The arrests were part of an ongoing investigation into drug trafficking and forged prescriptions, said police Commissioner Michael Tangney.

Ortiz and Vazquez were charged with third- and fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, all felonies.

Ortiz was also charged with second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, also a felony. Police said he had a prescription for a narcotic drug and used it at a pharmacy to get oxycodone.

Ortiz is due in court on Oct. 17. Records were not available for Vazquez.

Ortiz' attorney could not be immediately reached for comment Friday night. It was not known if Vazquez had an attorney.

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