A Roosevelt man has been given a maximum sentence of 24 years in prison for his role in a “large-scale” heroin trafficking ring that distributed more than 23,000 doses of heroin a week in Nassau, Queens and Brooklyn, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Eddie Parker, 63, was sentenced Tuesday after being convicted of drug charges on Jan. 16, according to the Nassau County district attorney’s office.
The trial before acting Supreme Court Justice Terence Murphy lasted four days and the jury deliberated for one hour, authorities said.
Parker’s public defender, Edward Galison, said his client refused to allow him to present a defense.
“I wasn’t allowed to participate in the trial,” Galison said in a telephone interview Wednesday. “He wouldn’t let me pick a jury, he wouldn’t let me present an opening statement, he wouldn’t let me put any witnesses on the stand, he wouldn’t let me cross-examine, he wouldn’t let me object, he wouldn’t let me present a closing argument.”
Galison said Parker gave him no reason for not allowing him to present his case.
“During the trial he didn’t come to court and I sat at an empty table — there was only me,” Galison said. “I sat there with an empty chair next to me.”
Parker does not want to appeal, Galison said.
Galison said that in his 35 years as a public defender a client has never asked to have no role in the trial.
A spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office declined to comment about whether they have had a case like that before.
“This 24-year prison sentence should send a clear message that anyone dealing drugs in Nassau should expect to face serious consequences for their actions,” District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a statement. “We have no tolerance for those with any role in the trafficking operations that make dealers rich while leaving our neighbors drug-addicted or dead.”
On May 5, 2017, Singas announced the indictment of 14 people in connection with the heroin trafficking ring, charging the defendants with distributing more than 23,000 doses of heroin weekly and sold about $170,000 of the narcotic weekly.
The indictment was the result of 15-month-long investigation into local heroin distributors by the district attorney’s office, Nassau police, and the FBI Long Island Gang Task Force, with the assistance of the Hempstead police, Rockville Centre police, Nassau County Sheriff’s Office, the State Police, Suffolk police, the NYPD and other agencies.
Parker was arrested last February as part of Operation Tri-County Traffick for selling crack from a Hempstead business, authorities said.
So far, 11 of the 14 defendants indicted as part of the operation have pleaded guilty, officials said.