Exterior view of the Alphonse D'Amato Federal Court building in...

Exterior view of the Alphonse D'Amato Federal Court building in Central Islip. Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

A dozen men alleged to be part of a burglary and drug trafficking ring responsible for dozens of crimes on Long Island and across the tristate area have been indicted on federal conspiracy, burglary and drug distribution charges, authorities said Wednesday. 

The men, alleged to be members and associates of the burglary and drug trafficking organization known as the “Route Boys," have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Central Islip on an 18-count superseding indictment in connection with dozens of pharmacy burglaries and ATM thefts across the region, federal prosecutors said. 

The defendants advertised the stolen controlled substances for sale, including ecstasy and fentanyl, on social media, prosecutors said. 

According to prosecutors, the defendants, with other Route Boys associates, committed dozens of burglaries of pharmacies and convenience stores in Nassau, Suffolk, Brooklyn, Queens, Westchester and Rockland counties, as well as in New Jersey and Connecticut over the past two years. 

“For two years the defendants went on a crime spree targeting local businesses throughout the tristate, stealing money and pharmaceuticals to fuel their illegal drug business, and frequently using firearms to commit their crimes,” Eastern District U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said in a statement.

Members of the Route Boys, according to federal prosecutors, began committing burglaries in late 2020. 

Two of the defendants are from Long Island — Cavier Nedrick, 25, of Hauppauge, who is known by "Chief," and Jonathan Santiago, 23, of Franklin Square. Their attorneys could not be reached for comment. 

Santiago, who was charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, including Ecstasy and fentanyl, was arrested Wednesday and was scheduled to be arraigned in U.S. District Court in Central Islip. 

Nedrick, who was charged with conspiracy to commit burglary involving controlled substances, was already in law enforcement custody on other charges and will be arraigned at a later date. 

The other defendants indicted in the alleged crime spree live in Brooklyn and Queens. 

Prosecutors said they operated with a consistent plan, including three to four participants committing multiple burglaries in quick succession on a single night. 

The burglars, according to prosecutors, used stolen cars, with stolen plates that were routinely switched to avoid detection. To break into the businesses, they used crowbars, rocks or grinders, prosecutors said. 

Prosecutors said the burglars routinely sped during their crime sprees, endangering the lives of other drivers. 

In addition to pharmacies, prosecutors said the ring burglarized businesses including convenience stores, check-cashing businesses, laundromats and restaurants, stealing primarily cash and tobacco products.

Prosecutors allege they also stole free-standing ATMs, pried them open and then stole the cash from inside the machine.

Some of the defendants posted images of themselves holding guns, including high capacity magazines, scopes and multiple guns at once, prosecutors said. 

And when federal agents made arrests Wednesday morning, they allege that they found loaded guns and drugs in the homes and vehicles of the defendants. 

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