Nassau County District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly said Orlando Ramsay...

Nassau County District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly said Orlando Ramsay was a major drug trafficker and part of a drug ring that operated out of Hempstead. Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa Loarca

A Uniondale man who authorities said was a "major trafficker" in a Hempstead drug ring was sentenced Monday to a dozen years in prison.

Nassau District Attorney Anne Donnelly said in a statement that as part of a long-term investigation called “Operation Honeycomb,” Orlando Ramsay, 49, was pulled over in a traffic stop by Nassau County police on Oct. 17, 2020, while “on his way” to deliver narcotics to a co-defendant in the case. Police recovered about 350 grams of cocaine from the vehicle at that time, the district attorney’s office said.

The following day a search warrant was executed at Ramsay’s residence, at which time the district attorney’s office said law enforcement recovered about 1 1/2 kilograms [about 3.3 pounds] of cocaine, 1 kilogram [about 2.2 pounds] of heroin, 200 grams of morphine and12 grams of fentanyl, as well as “various” drug paraphernalia, four firearms [including three loaded handguns and a shotgun] — and, $185,000 in cash.

The street value of the recovered narcotics was about $500,000, Donnelly said in a statement. To be identified as “a major trafficker” requires the value of narcotics possessed or sold to exceed $75,000 in six months or less.

The district attorney’s office said the arrest of Ramsay followed what began in October 2019 — an investigation by the district attorney’s office, the FBI, the Long Island Gang Task Force and members of the Long Island Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives into “an increase of violence and drug-dealing” in the Hempstead area.

That investigation included what the district attorney’s office termed “several drug and gun purchases,” which led to electronic eavesdropping warrants in February 2020 — measures the district attorney’s office said were needed to identify what it called “large-scale narcotic suppliers” in the area.

Ramsay was one of 40 defendants indicted in the widespread case, the district attorney’s office said, and many have already been sentenced. He also was sentenced to five years of post-release supervision.

Ramsay pleaded guilty before Judge Teresa Corrigan on May 21 to 23 counts, including operating as a major narcotics trafficker and other narcotics and weapons charges.

Prosecutors allege that drugs — including heroin, fentanyl and cocaine — were trafficked from California, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts and even from Puerto Rico. The traffickers also were enticed by rising street-level prices due to shortages resulting from the COVID pandemic, the district attorney’s office said, as the price of cocaine soared from $32,000 per kilogram to $55,000 a kilogram — dealers often mixing cocaine and heroin with fentanyl “to increase the potency of their supply.”

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