Riverhead, NY - February 20, 2014 - Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota has announced three men from Harlem and six east end heroin dealers, four of them Riverhead residents, face criminal charges following an East End Drug Task Force investigation of the buying and selling of an especially potent heroin, marketed on the streets with a red lettered stamp “Hollywood” on each dose.
“This heroin distribution network is based in New York city, where the alleged local east end dealers would travel to buy the heroin from three Harlem men and return to the east end with sleeves of heroin, each containing one hundred individual doses packaged for immediate sale to users,” DA Spota explained. Spota said the three New York city defendants have lengthy criminal histories and cumulatively total 28 felony and misdemeanor convictions, almost all drug –related crimes.
“The East End Drug Task Force undercover detectives made some purchases and witnessed others in parking lots of retail establishments along Route 58 in Riverhead. Using confidential informants, the task force undercover officers, and ultimately, wiretaps, sufficient evidence was gathered to arrest and indict the defendants.” District Attorney Spota said the “Hollywood” stamped narcotic is a premium brand of heroin that detectives learned local users would pay a premium price for; up to fifty to one hundred percent more expensive than other street heroin.
“On average, street heroin in Suffolk can cost as much as $10 per bag, but the heroin stamped with the word “Hollywood” cost $15 to - $20 dollars a dose – because of its potency,” DA Spota said. Sales occurred along the Route 58 corridor in the parking lots of the Outlet Mall, Walmart, gas stations, Home Depot and the Department of Motor Vehicles, and some transactions took place in the McDonalds parking lot on Route 24.
The investigation found evidence of “Hollywood”-stamped heroin use in Southampton, Southampton Village, Quogue, Sag Harbor, Greenport, Miller Place, Rocky Point and Ronkonkoma.
Heroin with the “Hollywood” stamp was first noted by local law enforcement on the north and south forks when overdoses, none of them fatal, occurred in 2011.
The East End Drug Task Force is a multi-jurisdictional drug enforcement unit funded by the office of Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota. The task force includes detectives, police officers, and law enforcement personnel from the New York State Police, New York State Parole, the Suffolk County Police Department, District Attorney Detective-Investigators, Riverhead Police Department, East Hampton Town Police Department, East Hampton Village Police Department, Shelter Island Police Department, Southampton Town Police Department, Southampton Village Police Department, Southold Police Department, Suffolk County Sheriff's Office, and the Suffolk County Department of Probation.