A Deer Park couple accused of keeping heroin next to their daughter's crib admitted Monday they bought the drugs from a Brooklyn supplier, who then admitted his own role in a heroin distribution ring.
Aaron Smith, 58, and his wife, Kelly Mullen, 29, both pleaded guilty in Riverhead to first-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.
Each admitted buying a total of 4,500 bags of heroin in March 2014 from Miguel Vicente in Queens with the intention of reselling it in Suffolk County. Moments later, Vicente, 33, of Brooklyn, pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance.
In return, state Supreme Court Justice William Condon agreed to sentence Vicente to 16 years in prison, Smith to 14 years and Mullen to 11 years.
Before the three defendants entered their separate pleas, defense attorneys had been concerned that any of them could back out of the plea deal negotiated with Suffolk prosecutors, ruining the deal for all of them. To ensure that didn't happen, Vicente's attorney, Toni Marie Angeli of Garden City, told her client when he entered the courtroom that both Smith and Mullen had implicated him when they pleaded guilty.
Condon assured Vicente that his lawyer had negotiated a good deal for him.
"She has, in my opinion, secured an incredibly fair disposition on your behalf," he said.
All three initially had been charged with operating as a major drug trafficker, a crime that carries a maximum sentence of 25 years to life.
During questioning by Assistant District Attorney Kate Wagner, Smith and Mullen each said they had the heroin in their Deer Park home after buying it from Vicente. Vicente told Wagner the sale took place by the Horace Harding Expressway in Queens.
After their arrests last year, Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota said the heroin distribution took place in the same house where Mullen was raising her four children, then between ages 2 and 13, and caring for her sister's six children, all between ages 3 months and 15 years. "There were bags of heroin scattered about, including heroin left next to the crib of Mullen and Smith's daughter," Spota said at the time.
Mullen will be sentenced July 20. Vicente and Smith will be sentenced July 24.