A Queens man will serve 9 years in prison for selling hundreds of bags of heroin in Glen Cove, officials said Friday.
Jeffrey Ventura, 30, of Corona was convicted of multiple felonies on June 29, Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a statement. Prosecutors had recommended a sentence of 16 years.
After a two-week trial before Judge Meryl Berkowitz in Nassau County Court in Mineola, the jury took two days to find Ventura guilty of conspiracy, criminal sale of a controlled substance, criminal possession of a controlled substance, and criminal use of drug paraphernalia, Singas said.
“We have treatment resources available to addicts and educational programs to prevent drug abuse, but we have no tolerance for the dealers like this defendant who profit from selling this deadly poison in our communities,” Singas said in the statement.
Ventura’s lawyer, Joseph A. Lo Piccolo of Garden City, by email called the sentence fair, though he and his client disagreed with it, “based upon the legal and factual issues raised during the trial.”
Noting that no one was endorsing selling heroin, he added: “However, the prosecution was selective in its ‘tolerance’ as the ringleaders and major dealers in fact were given more favorable plea bargain offers compared to Mr. Ventura, who had a lesser role when viewing the prosecutions evidence and police investigation.”
After a three-month investigation by the district attorney’s office, the Drug Enforcement Administration and Glen Cove police, Ventura was pulled over for a traffic stop at a “pre-determined” site in Glen Cove on Oct. 24, 2016, Singas said.
Singas said about 600 bags of heroin, 19 bags of cocaine and “packaging material” were recovered from a concealed “trap” in the Nissan Maxima’s center console.
Ventura and two other co-conspirators had planned to sell the heroin to an undercover detective, she said.
Ventura previously had sold 30 bags of heroin to an undercover detective.
“Our law enforcement partners at every level are committed to ending this epidemic,” Singas said. “Drug dealers should be on notice that if they sell heroin in our communities that we will find them, prosecute them, and send them to prison.”