The eight-man heroin distribution network busted by a Suffolk County District Attorney Task Force has an East End connection.
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Erick Castor, 30, of North Babylon, was a fixture on The Hamptons nightlife scene, according to Bob Clifford, spokesman for DA Tom Spota. Castor allegedly sold cocaine at area clubs on a routine basis last summer, and was charged this week with two counts of third degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, plus one count of fourth degree conspiracy. He's accused of selling coke to an undercover officer.
Castor allegedly purchased large amounts of cocaine from accused ringleader Richard Bruno Junior, 26, of Holbrook, for resale in The Hamptons and his hometown of North Babylon. Junior faces 18 drug-related charges including Operating as a Major Drug trafficker, a class A felony.
Flanked by members of the Heroin Task Force, which includes Captain James Dewar of the New York State Police and Chief Deputy Sheriff Michael Sharkey, on Monday morning Spota detailed aspects of the big bust.
Working with state police, the DA's Heroin Task Force seized 19,000 glassine envelopes of heroin packaged for sale, a quarter kilo of pure, uncut heroin, and other narcotics including cocaine, methamphetamines, and anabolic steroids.
Some packages were stuffed up alongside the insulation in the attic of Bruno's father's home in Farmingville. Detectives also found an illegally defaced handgun in the house, $192,000 in pop's safe, plus another $37,000 worth of wads of cash up in the rafters.
Richard Bruno, Senior, 59, was allegedly supportive of his son's illegal enterprise. Spota related that during the course of the investigation task force members learned dad advised sonny boy to launder his heroin money by operating a pot grow house in rural Pennsylvania. Junior could explain those big utility bills by growing flowers and tomatoes indoors alongside the pot . . . because apparently Keystone staters can't tell the difference between pot plants and petunias.
Bruno Jr. allegedly purchased the heroin for resale in Suffolk from codefendant Jonathan Rincon, 26, of Brooklyn, who is also charged with Operating as a Major Drug Trafficker. Rincon is on parole for a narcotics felony out of Queens County.
"From Rincon's apartment on Ocean Avenue, we seized approximately 5000 bags worth of uncut heroin and $60,000 cash," DA Spota said.
Another parolee on a conviction for drug sales, Rodney Montalvo, 39, was based at the Clarion Hotel on Veterans Memorial Hwy in Ronkonkoma, Spota said. Montalvo, charged with conspiracy to sell narcotics in the second degree, allegedly picked up 300 to 500 bags of heroin every other day to sell in Suffolk County.
The third defendant in the ring charged with the top count of Operating as a Major Drug Trafficker and other crimes is Bryan Koppelman, 32, of Selden. Spota says he regularly sold heroin from his home on Dare Road near an elementary school. "We also know that while the defendant's girlfriend was hospitalized in Stony Brook to give birth to their son, Koppelman sold heroin on hospital grounds, and on more than one occasion he brought his newborn baby along to drug deals," the DA informed.
Spota concluded, "While we are well aware that only a multipronged approach to the problem including education and treatment will work, law enforcement interdiction efforts must be used to stem the tide of this terrible scourge. And, indeed law enforcement continues to use every tool we can to stop the flow of heroin into our county."