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ISLANDWIDE / Feds: Raids net drug-traffic ring

Federal agents raided suspected drug trafficking locations in Massapequa and Baldwin and arrested several people Tuesday in connection with a California-based marijuana smuggling operation, authorities said.

One of the places that the authorities hit was across the street from a Massapequa elementary school, prompting a school superintendent to say that he was "appalled" that drug traffickers could be so brazen.

That raid, on a house on Unqua Road, took place just after 8 a.m. - about one hour before students, who range from kindergartners to sixth-graders, began arriving at Unqua Elementary School.

One man was arrested in that raid, said Insp. Tom Boyle, a spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service, which conducted the investigation. He said three others were arrested in the afternoon raid in Baldwin.

The federal Drug Enforcement Administration was involved in the raids, said agency spokeswoman Erin Mulvey.

- MATTHEW CHAYES


ISLAND PARK / Critically hurt after being hit by car

A woman crossing Austin Boulevard in Island Park was hit by a car and critically wounded Monday evening, Nassau police said Tuesday.

Sheena Arora of Island Park suffered head trauma and was in critical but stable condition at South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside.

The crash occurred at 7:45 p.m. Police could not immediately provide the name of the cross streets where the crash happened.

The driver was Richard Bell, 49, of Long Beach.

Police said Bell was driving a 2004 Volkswagen south on Austin. He remained at the scene and police said there was no apparent criminality involved in the accident. They also said the car's brakes were operating normally.

- JOHN VALENTI


REGION / Attorneys defend Rutgers student

Attorneys for a Rutgers University student accused of broadcasting live images of a freshman in a same-sex encounter say their client is innocent.

Attorneys for Molly Wei, of Princeton, N.J., said Tuesday in a statement that she is "a wonderful, caring and talented young woman with a bright future."

Prosecutors have charged Wei and fellow Rutgers freshman Dharun Ravi, of Plainsboro, with invasion of privacy for allegedly using a webcam to broadcast an intimate encounter between Ravi's roommate and another man.

The roommate, Tyler Clementi, jumped to his death into the Hudson River from the George Washington Bridge three days later.

- AP

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