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Nassau County District Attorney Investigation Busts Alleged Long Beach Drug Trafficking Ring

LongIsland.com

DA Madeline Singas the arrests of five individuals during 'Operation Beech Sweep.'

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DA Singas reports the arrests of (L to R): Robert Gause, Carlos Andujar, Rodney Coward, Ronnie Sutton, and Harold Chestnut, alleged members of a drug trafficking ring.

Photo by: Nassau County Police Department

Mineola, NY - November 9, 2018 - Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced the arrests of five individuals for operating a drug trafficking ring in Long Beach.
 
DA Singas said in June 2017, following a tip, NCPD DA Squad Detectives began a 14-month long investigation dubbed ‘Operation Beech Sweep’ into a drug trafficking ring operating primarily in Long Beach.
 
The investigation revealed the alleged ringleader of the group to be Robert Gause. During the investigation, Gause is alleged to have received crack/cocaine, and cocaine, from Carlos Andujar, an alleged Latin King gang member. Gause is accused of then supplying the drugs to Rodney Coward, Ronnie Sutton, and Harold Chestnut who then allegedly sold to dozens of local users in Long Beach, Inwood, and Atlantic Beach. Gause also allegedly had connections to buy and then resell heroin, oxycodone pills, and Xanax.
 
To date, more than half a kilogram of drugs and more than 100 pills have been recovered. Additionally, during the execution of a search warrant, a loaded .357 Magnum Revolver and a shotgun were allegedly found inside Defendant Sutton’s home.
 
It is alleged that this unnamed ring operated along Beech Street in Long Beach for several years, and members bought and sold only to insiders with the hope of shielding themselves from arrests and prosecutions.
 
“These defendants allegedly poisoned our communities by buying and selling staggering amounts of drugs for many years,” DA Singas said. “With the help of the Nassau County Police Department, the Long Beach Police Department, and the Freeport Police Department, the DA Squad was able to make a significant dent in the flow of drugs into Long Beach and surrounding communities. My office remains laser-focused on dismantling the drug trafficking networks that are fueling Long Island’s opioid epidemic.”
 
Nassau County Police Commissioner Ryder said, “During ‘Operation Beech Sweep’, the collective law enforcement agencies were able to arrest and remove from our communities five individuals that were trafficking dangerous and illegal drugs to various communities. These drugs lead to both fatal and non-fatal overdoses, placing our residents and their children at great risk which we cannot tolerate. I commend and congratulate the investigators in this case as they continue to work diligently to stop the flow of these dangerous drugs into our communities.”
 
“The Long Beach Police Department is very proud our working relationships with the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office, the Nassau County Police Department, and area police agencies. Working together is essential to these investigations and the resulting arrests needed to eliminate the scourge those drug dealers are causing in Long Island communities,” said Police Commissioner Michael Tangney.
 
Robert Gause a/k/a Bean, 49, of Atlantic Beach, was arraigned on November 1 before Judge Maxine Broderick and charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Second Degree (an A-II felony). Bail was set at $50,000 bond or $25,000 cash, and the defendant is due back in court November 5. If convicted of the top charge the defendant faces a maximum of 10 years in prison.
 
Carlos Andujar, 34, of Inwood, was arraigned November 3 before Judge Paul Meli and charged with Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree. (an A-I felony). Bail was set at $200,000 bond or $200,000 cash, and the defendant is due back in court November 13. If convicted of the top charge the defendant faces a maximum of 24 years in prison.
 
Rodney Coward, 43, of Long Beach, was arraigned November 7 before Judge Eileen Goggin and charged with Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Second Degree (an A-II felony). Bail was set at $2,000,000 bond or $1,000,000 cash, and the defendant is due back in court November 9. If convicted of the top charge the defendant faces a maximum of 14 years in prison.
 
Ronnie Sutton, 45, of Long Beach, was arraigned November 3 before Judge Paul Meli and charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree (an A-II felony). Bail was set at $250,000 bond or $250,000 cash, and the defendant is due back in court November 28. If convicted of the top charge the defendant faces a maximum of 10 years in prison.
 
Harold Chestnut, 59, of Long Beach, was arraigned November 2 before Judge Maxine Broderick and charged with Conspiracy in the Second Degree (a B felony). Bail was set at $40,000 bond or $20,000 cash, and the defendant is due back in court November 20. If convicted of the top charge the defendant faces a maximum of nine years in prison.
 
Deputy Bureau Chief Anne Donnelly and Senior Assistant District Attorney George Smit of DA Singas’ Organized Crime and Rackets Bureau are prosecuting this case.
 
Defendant Gause is represented by William Shanahan, Esq., defendant Sutton is represented Mindy Plotkin, Esq. defendant Chestnut is represented by Sheryl Channer, Esq., defendant Andujar is represented by Steven Gaitman, Esq., and defendant Coward is represented by James McGlynn, Esq.
 
A criminal charge is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.