Five longtime members of the Bloods who prosecutors said “have been terrorizing the streets of Suffolk County” were charged Wednesday in the first public acknowledgment of an ongoing crackdown on the violent street gang, according to officials.
The five, mostly in their 30s, pleaded not guilty at their arraignment in federal court in Central Islip on a combination of drug and gun charges.
Eastern District federal prosecutor Christopher Caffarone, arguing the five had terrorized the county, successfully argued that they be held without bail because of a risk of flight and a danger to the community.
Caffarone, who is prosecuting the case along with Mark Misorek, said those arrested belonged to several chapters of the gang. If convicted of the charges, they each would face a minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life, he said.
The Bloods were dealing cocaine and heroin and used weapons to protect their turf in central Suffolk and sales, officials said. During one recorded drug deal, prosecutors said, the sound of a weapon being racked could be heard.
But Caffarone said the government has amassed enough evidence to further indict some of the defendants on additional drug and gun charges that could lead to a minimum of dozens of years in prison.
The case is being investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, the FBI and Suffolk police, officials said.
The five arrested were identified in court as Dennis Carroll, of Ridge; Howard Davis, 30, of Patchogue; Jason Martin, 36, of the Mastic-Shirley area; Dijon Toone, 30, of Mastic; and Danielle Houpe, 38, of Bellport. Prosecutors said Houpe is a female member of the Bloods.
Most of the defendants were charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, and use of firearms in connection with a drug trafficking crime.