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Cops bust major Suffolk heroin ring

Two drug kingpins - one from Oakdale - are among 13 people arrested since last Saturday in connection with a narcotics ring that shipped large amounts of heroin from Queens to Suffolk for sale on the streets, authorities said.

In a far-reaching sweep, police said they arrested Gilberto Rivera, 25, of Oakdale and Felix Cruz, 29, of Brooklyn, after they completed a transaction in the parking lot of the Islandia Marriott Hotel on March 14.

The arrests come as Long Island parents express increasing concern about drug use by middle and high school students.

Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota and Major Walter Heesch, commander of the State Police on Long Island, announced the arrests at a Hauppauge press conference Thursday. Heesch said a kilogram of heroin is worth about $350,000 on the street.

"We developed information from a confidential source," Heesch said. The district attorney, the Suffolk police and sheriff and the Drug Enforcement Administration later joined the state police.

Spota said Suffolk had 63 fatal heroin overdoses in 2008 and that Rivera is "a major dealer".

"These dealers are flooding our community with cheap, potent heroin," Spota said. "It's reaching right down into high school."

Detectives seized $25,000 in cash and 5,000 packets of heroin packaged for street sales from inside the men's car, police said.

Since Saturday, police have seized 3 kilogramss of heroin, cocaine, oxycodone pills, drug processing equipment and 50 guns from the two ringleaders and their underlings. They also seizedf about $200,000 in cash.

Heroin and cocaine in both powdered and crack forms were packaged at an apartment Cruz maintained at 32-15 112th St. in East Elmhurst and were then taken to Suffolk for sale.

Rivera used local runners to sell the drugs.

Rivera and Cruz were charged with second-degree possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell. Rivera is also charged with third-degree criminal possession of a weapon and is being held on bail of $25 million or $50 million bond. Cruz' bail is $1 million cash or $3 million bond.

Also arrested on various drug, weapons and conspiracy charges are: Rolando Hamilton, Brooklyn; Paul Ortiz, Shirley; Willie Hart, Central Islip; Edward Davis, Bay Shore; Juliann Critelli, Bay Shore; Corarene Singh, Central Islip; Magdalena Davis, Central Islip; Robert Pittell, Centerport; Tariq Williams, Bay Shore, James DeVito, Nesconset and Marty Hake, West Sayville.


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