District Attorney Richard Brown coined yet another unflattering nickname for a Queens thoroughfare Friday morning when he announced the results of a massive drug bust involving suspected dealers in the borough and well-to-do customers in Suffolk and Nassau counties.
Queens Boulevard’s is already known as the “Boulevard of Death,” but the DA’s office and the NYPD charged 12 individuals with selling hard drugs to hundreds of Long Islanders who used the “Heroin Highway,” or the Long Island Expressway, to get their fix in the borough.
“The main defendants are accused of operating as a tightly knit ring that catered almost exclusively to drug buyers from the eastern end of Long Island, virtually turning the Long Island Expressway into the ‘Heroin Highway,’” Brown said at his office in Kew Gardens.
The users in upper-middle-class towns like Kings Park and Smithtown would drive the hour into the Ridgewood area to buy heroin at nearly half of what they would pay in Long Island.
A sleeve of heroin containing 100 individual packets could run from $1,000 or $1,500 on the island, but the young suburbanites would meet in hotels, diners, fast food restaurants or even 99 cent stores in Queens to get the same product for $400 to $800.
“This is a substantial savings,” said Inspector Michael Bryan, the commanding officer of the Narcotics Bureau of Queens. “That was the draw to come into Queens to purchase these drugs.”
The Heroin Highway led 121 men and women straight into the hands of police, who charged them with drug possession, but the 12 alleged drug dealers face more serious charges that could land them behind bars for significant time.
The alleged ringleader, Jermel Broadhurst, 30, of 31-31 29th St. in Astoria was slapped with a slew of charges, including operating as a major trafficker. If convicted he could face up to life in prison.
Other Queens residents who were collared by the NYPD included Marcos Feliciano, 47, of 169 Beach 60th St. in Far Rockaway and Chelene Nelson, 24, of 31-31 29th St. in Astoria.
On Friday morning the DA and NYPD officers stood in front of a table filled with confiscated evidence, which included 8,000 glassine envelopes of heroin, more than five kilograms of heroin, 2.7 kilograms of cocaine, five pistols, two shotguns and an AK-47 assault rifle, which was loaded when they took it off a suspect’s person.
Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4566.
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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