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Feds arrest suspects in Queens-based heroin ring

Federal agents raided the auto sales business on

Federal agents raided the auto sales business on Atlantic Avenue in Richmond Hill, Queens in connection with a large heroin bust. (Aug. 27, 2013) Credit: Robert Stridiron

Teams of federal agents have arrested seven of nine suspects they said were involved in a Queens-based heroin trafficking ring that operated out of an auto repair and sales shop.

The defendants were scheduled to be arraigned in federal court Tuesday in Central Islip on various charges including drug and illegal gun possession charges, said Zugiel Soto, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office. But no information about the dispositions of those proceedings was available.

Investigators said the Flock Organization, so named because the alleged leader of the group is Robert Flock, 42, of Brooklyn, had distributed more than 25 kilograms of heroin throughout Queens, Brooklyn, Nassau and Suffolk counties over the course of the investigation, completing transactions with a street value of up to $1.5 million. Investigators said the group also sold guns and cars with hidden compartments to conceal drugs.

The surveillance operation, called Operation Birds of a Feather, began in April 2012, according to an affidavit submitted by an agent in support of the criminal complaint against the defendants.

Attorneys for the defendants could not be reached.

It was unclear which two of the nine defendants were still at large Tuesday night.

Investigators said the Flock Organization operated out of Fresh Start Auto Repair and Tire Sales on Atlantic Avenue in Richmond Hill.

The surveillance, which included videotaping and wiretapping authorized by a judge and use of a confidential informant who made drug and gun buys, was an offshoot of a joint operation conducted by the FBI and Nassau police that netted 20 arrests for drug transactions.

That operation on the Perez Organization ended in March 2012, but investigators became interested in one of the vehicles allegedly used by that group, a Mitsubishi Galant that had hidden compartments used to store drugs.

Investigators launched a probe into the Flock Organization after they learned that the vehicle was retrofitted with the hidden compartments at Flock's auto repair shop.

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