May 31, 2006
Perhaps punsters among the undercovers noted they were on a steak out. Surely the scent of grilling beef wafted across the intended rendezvous – the parking lot at the Boulder Creek restaurant on County Road 58 in Riverhead – on the night of May 17 as members of the East End Drug Task Force poised to bring a months- long investigation to fruition. Not everything went according to plan, but by last Friday, it was "check, please" for the second of two suspected drug dealers.
Back at Boulder, narcs met the two suspects, Eddy Hernandez, 25, and Eddy Rodriguez, 26, both residents of Copiague, at around 9:30 p.m. With Rodriguez behind the wheel of a 2006 Pontiac Grand Am, Hernandez allegedly made the deal — $22,500 for a plastic wrapped kilo of cocaine.
The price was agreed upon, and suddenly the parking lot was alive with cops, according to Bob Clifford, the spokesman for District Attorney Tom Spota. Hernandez took off running and Rodriguez mashed the accelerator of the Pontiac, speeding away into CR58's traffic. A foot chase ensued and Hernandez was apprehended swiftly. He was charged with felony counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal possession of a weapon. Cops say he had two handguns – a .357 and a .38 – on him when he was captured.
On Friday U.S. Marshals found Rodriguez in Washington Heights. He faces similar charges. Both men are being held without bail in the Suffolk County Jail.
The collar is the denouement of a three-month long investigation that commenced soon after Hernandez was released on parole for a prior offense.
The East End Drug Task Force is comprised of officers from Riverhead and Southold Town Police Departments, the Suffolk County Police Department, County Probation and sheriff's department and the state police. In this case, the county's K-9 unit also assisted.