NYPD investigators have arrested six men on charges they ran a heroin and cocaine distribution ring servicing part of Queens and Brooklyn, officials said.
Aside from the Tuesday arrests, a 10-month-long probe, dubbed “Operation Goodfellas" because one of the defendants allegedly had loose ties to organized crime, led to the undercover purchase of more than 2,000 glassine envelopes of heroin, including some laced with deadly fentanyl, NYPD Deputy Insp. Dominick D’Orazio said Wednesday.
“These dealers, I would classify as mid- to high-level dealers,” said D’Orazio, commander of a unit that probes criminal enterprises.
The main suspect arrested in the case was identified by police as David Antinuche, 51, of Maspeth, Queens. According to D’Orazio, Antinuche had what he called loose ties to a number of traditional Cosa Nostra families. Because of the investigation, D’Orazio wouldn’t elaborate on Antinuche’s background.
Police got wind of the suspected ring from intelligence developed by an NYPD field intelligence officer that individuals with ties to organized crime were selling heroin in Queens, D’Orazio explained. The gang was infiltrated by an undercover officer who, over a period of months, made drug buys and was introduced to suppliers who provided heroin and cocaine to the group, D’Orazio said.
Police executed a search warrant at the Maspeth home of Antinuche and another suspect on Tuesday and seized drugs and drug paraphernalia, according to police. Antinuche and the other defendants were awaiting arraignment late Wednesday on drug charges in Queens Criminal Court, a police spokesman said.
It was not clear Wednesday if the defendants had retained legal counsel.