A Manhattan man and his Long Island accomplices, including a former NYPD cop, ran a drug ring that brought in marijuana from the West Coast and the animal tranquilizer ketamine from China into Suffolk County, prosecutors said Tuesday.
The ring was busted after a 10-month investigation and led to the arrest of 13 suspects, according to the office of District Attorney Thomas Spota. Those arrested included alleged ringleader Neil Singer, 47, of Manhattan, and the ex-NYPD officer, Keith Klouda, 37, of Miller Place, who allegedly was the group's financial manager, prosecutors said.
A news conference planned for Tuesday afternoon was postponed after the shooting of a Nassau County police officer.
"This was a joint Suffolk police narcotics squad and district attorney's narcotics bureau operation utilizing electronic surveillance, including wiretaps," Spota said in the release.
The West Coast-to-Suffolk County marijuana delivery scheme used drivers or a major overnight delivery company to ship marijuana from growers in California and, occasionally, Oregon, according to the news release.
The ring also focused on monthly purchases of 2 kilos of the club drug ketamine from a website based in China, prosecutors said. Narcotics detectives found the drug often was resold to clubgoers in Fire Island, Nassau County and New York City, the news release said.
Scott Cicerone of Pines Avenue in Central Islip was charged with conspiracy and other crimes in the ketamine distribution network, prosecutors said.