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Retired NYPD narcotics detective pleads guilty to role in drug ring

Retired NYPD Det. Karan Young of Laurelton, Queens,

Retired NYPD Det. Karan Young of Laurelton, Queens, pleaded guilty in July to conspiracy. Credit: NCDA

A retired NYPD narcotics detective has admitted a role in a drug ring that prosecutors said pumped tens of thousands of heroin doses onto the streets of Nassau County and New York City every week before a law-enforcement bust last year.

Karan Young, 50, of Laurelton, Queens, pleaded guilty Monday to a fourth-degree conspiracy charge and is expected to get a probation sentence in August, according to the Nassau district attorney’s office.

Prosecutors said Young admitted in Nassau County Court she gave the Brooklyn-based ring’s leader, Leigh Jackson, whom Young’s attorney identified as her husband, a mini-NYPD shield and police union card to help him avoid detection while he moved drugs.

Young's attorney, Christopher Graziano, said Tuesday of the plea: "We thought it was the best thing to do under the circumstances."

The Mineola attorney added that the defense was pleased acting state Supreme Court Justice Judge Robert Schwartz previously dismissed the top charge against Young, a different conspiracy charge that had her facing up to 25 years behind bars.

Prosecutors arrested Young and Jackson, then 45, along with 12 others in spring 2017 after a 15-month probe. They said the investigation uncovered a heroin operation that used Brooklyn barbershops and auto body businesses to distribute more than 23,000 doses of heroin a week — worth about $170,000 — to dealers in Nassau, Queens and Brooklyn.

Prosecutors said Jackson is serving 7 years in prison after pleading guilty in December to attempted operating as a major trafficker.

Investigators said at the time of the bust that the heroin was branded “Taster’s Choice,” and a 23-year-old Garden City Park woman fatally overdosed on it in June 2016.

Young “knew the deadly impact of heroin,” yet helped Jackson “profit from dealing poison in our communities,” Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas said Tuesday in a statement.

Young retired from NYPD’s Brooklyn South division in 2008 and was working for Delta Air Lines at LaGuardia Airport as a customer service representative before her April 2017 arrest.

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