Some of the six kilograms of heroin and cocaine, weapons and cash recovered by police in the arrests of people operating two drug networks on the East End in July 2016. File photo: Denise Civiletti

A major investigation has led to the dismantling of two drug distribution networks on the East End and the arrest of 14 people, including three members of the Bloods street gang, Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota announced at a press conference in Riverhead today.

Nine of those arrested were Riverhead residents. Several of those involved were members of the Bloods street gang, including a Northampton man Spota said was the leader of a Bloods subset known as the Stones.

A lengthy East End Drug Task Force investigation that included multiple means of gathering evidence, including electronic surveillance, resulted in the execution of more than a dozen search warrants, the arrests of several “major” drug dealers and the seizure of at least six kilograms of cocaine and heroin, along with weapons, drug paraphernalia, and more than $150,000 in cash.

Flanked by Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter and Southampton Supervisor Jay Schneiderman and top law enforcement officials from across the East End called together for a news conference in the district attorney’s Riverhead offices, Spota said at least 40 more arrests would be forthcoming.

“We’re coming to get you,” the D.A. promised.

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Photo: Denise Civiletti

Spota described the arrests he said “dismantled” two major heroin and cocaine distribution networks operating primarily in Riverhead, Southampton, East Hampton and Southold. He said he could not provide details about some aspects of the East End Drug Task Force’s investigation because it is still ongoing and more arrests are pending.

He demonstrated the operation of sophisticated hidden compartments he said were being used to store drugs and cash in the defendants’ homes. One compartment, secreted in the base of a fish tank was operated by a magnet and elevated the shelf on which the tank sat to reveal a hidden storage space. Other hidden storage compartments were found under the tops of nightstands and within the dashboard of a 2010 Maxima. The hidden dashboard compartment, behind the vehicle’s in-dash GPS system, was accessed by operation of the Maxima’s factory-installed controls.

“These were very sophisticated systems,” Spota said.

Some of the cash seized by law enforcement officers during the recent raids. Photo: Denise Civiletti
Some of the cash seized by law enforcement officers during the recent raids. Photo: Denise Civiletti

The heroin ring was run by local members of the Bloods street gang, Spota said. The cocaine ring was supported by a dealer who made weekly purchases of cocaine in New York City, which would then be sold to dealers who distributed the drug in Riverhead, Southold, Southampton and East Hampton towns.

The following people were charged as follows:

Ronald Paschall aka “App” or “Big App,” age 42, of Birch Court, Riverhead, arrested July 6
Charges:
Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree
Unlawful fleeing from a police officer in a motor vehicle in the third degree (two counts)
VTL violations
Gang affiliation: Bloods

Jerome Carey aka “Sweets” age 31, of Sound Beach Boulevard, Sound Beach, arrested July 6
Charges:
Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree
Gang affiliation: Bloods

John Miles aka “Mann” age 44, of Hampton Avenue, Mastic, arrested July 6
Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree
Gang affiliation: Bloods

Cory Woodley, age 36, of June Ave, Riverhead, arrested June 14
Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree

Herbert Prophet, age 33, of Clinton Ave, Uniondale, arrested June 14
Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree

Reynaldo DeJesus Melo , age 39, of Marion Ave, Bronx, arrested June 29
Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree

Jimmy Dean, age 38, of Warner Drive, Baiting Hollow
Charges:
Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree (two counts)
Criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree
criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree
criminal use of drug paraphernalia in the second (two counts)
Criminal possession of a weapon
Unlawful possession of marijuana
Gang affiliation: Bloods

Dwayne K. Harris, age 31, of Harrison Avenue, Riverhead, arrested July 13
Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree (three counts)
Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree
Criminal use of drug paraphernalia in the second
Unlawful possession of marijuana
Gang affiliation: Bloods

Eric Thomas aka “E” age 42, of Lewis Street, Riverhead, arrested July 14
Charges:Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree (two counts)
Criminal use of drug paraphernalia in the second
Unlawful possession of marijuana

Lakiwa Kelly, 30, of Fairview Drive, Shirley arrested July 16
Charges:
Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree
Charges:Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree
Criminal use of drug paraphernalia in the second
Unlawful possession of marijuana

Walter James, 42, of Zion Street, Riverhead, arrested July 16
Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree (three counts)

Rosemary Hinchy Brown, age 51, of Zion Street, Riverhead, arrested July 16
Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree
Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree
Criminal use of drug paraphernalia in the second
Unlawful possession of marijuana

Tiffany Norris, age 33, of Zion Street, Riverhead, arrested July 16
Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree (three counts)

Shawanna James, age 43, of Flanders Road, Flanders, arrested July 16
Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree

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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.