The leader of a drug ring that distributed cocaine and fentanyl across Long Island was sentenced to 15 years in prison Monday, according to Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas.
Ricky Jackson, 41, of Hempstead, pleaded guilty before Nassau County Judge Terence Murphy to criminal possession of a controlled substance on Dec. 9, the district attorney’s office said. Authorities seized 400 grams of fentanyl — the largest seizure of the deadly synthetic opioid — during the investigation that led to Jackson’s arrest.
Jackson led an eight-person drug ring from a federal prison medical center in Massachusetts, authorities said. He was serving the seventh year of a 22-year prison sentence when he was indicted on the Nassau drug charges. He had been convicted of federal charges of conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin.
Fentanyl has played a central role in the opioid epidemic that has killed more than 3,600 people on Long Island since 2010, officials have said. Authorities in both counties have said they believe fatal overdoses declined in 2019, but official statistics won't be available for several months.
The investigations that led to Jackson’s arrest began in April, when Nassau prosecutors teamed up with the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to target drug- and gun-related violence in Hempstead. The investigation focused on a drug ring that operated at 100 Terrace Ave. in Hempstead, officials said.
Eleven people, including Jackson, were indicted in November on gun and drug charges as a result of those investigations, officials said. The fentanyl seized during the investigation, valued at $130,000, represents 150,000 potentially fatal overdoses, Singas said. Two milligrams of fentanyl is enough to cause a fatal overdose in most adults, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
“The seamless collaboration of our law enforcement partners shut down this trafficking network, prevented the distribution of this especially lethal synthetic opioid, and saved countless lives,” Singas said.