Driver in fatal crash busted on heroin charges
A driver with a history of drug arrests involved in a crash that killed two Connetquot High School students earlier this year is in jail again after a hundred bags of heroin were found in his underwear, Suffolk officials said.
David Heise, 28, was a passenger in an eastbound car on the Long Island Expressway near Exit 49 on Monday afternoon when the driver was pulled over by members of the Suffolk County District Attorney's Heroin Task Force, according to district attorney spokesman Robert Clifford.
A search turned up a wrapped "brick" of heroin packets hidden in Heise's underwear, officials said. He was also carrying a hypodermic needle and 53 pills, believed to be the tranquilizer Diazepam, for which he did not have a prescription.
Heise was arrested by a Suffolk sheriff's deputy and charged with felony possession of narcotics with intent to sell, and five misdemeanor drug charges. The driver of the Kia Sportage, Rory Peters, 51, of Lake Ronkonkoma, was charged with misdemeanor drug possession connected to seven packets of heroin found in the car's console, as well as driving under the influence of drugs, aggravated unlicensed operation and traffic violations, officials said.
Heise, of Selden, was out on bail following the fatal crash on Veterans Memorial Highway in Ronkonkoma. Police said Heise was at the wheel of a pickup on the night of April 10 when he crashed into a BMW driven by Eugene Franjola, 17, of Oakdale. Franjola was killed in the collision. His passenger, Stephen Massina, 16, was critically injured, and his family removed him from life support a week later.
After the April crash, Heise was charged with third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. The maximum penalty is 30 days in jail. Heise was released from the Riverhead jail April 15 after posting bail of $25,000. The case is pending.
"I don't want him back on the street. I don't want his killing children with heroin now," said Eugene's mother, Barbara Franjola, 45, of Oakdale, Thursday. "Now maybe a judge will start taking this seriously."
Clifford said his office is awaiting results of a crash re-construction report from the Suffolk County crime laboratory. He said he could not confirm details of the crash or say if Heise was tested for alcohol or drugs after the crash. Calls to Heise's attorney, Eric Besso of Sayville, were not returned.
Clifford said it was "premature" to say how Heise's latest arrest might affect the pending case. Heise has been convicted at least four times for misdemeanor drug possession since 2005, according to court records.
"That report will be reviewed by this office, and other charges are possible, depending on the content of that report," Clifford said.