An FBI agent outside the Holiday Inn Express in Riverhead Nov. 14, 2018.

(Updated 6:30 p.m.) A joint operation conducted by “numerous law enforcement agencies” resulted in 15 arrests for trafficking crack cocaine in Riverhead this morning. See separate story.

Twelve people are facing federal felony charges and two others are facing state charges, according to sources close to the investigation.

At least one man was arrested at the Holiday Inn Express early this morning and other arrests were made at the apartment complex on Doctors Path. FBI agents were seen at a house on Washington Avenue in Jamesport this morning, according to residents on that street, as well as in the Calverton Hills condominium complex, where one resident said there were so many law enforcement vehicles in the complex a school bus could not pass to pick up students.

FBI agents knocked on doors of guest rooms on the first floor of the hotel before 6:30 a.m. searching for a suspect, showing guests a photo of a man and asking if they’d seen him, according to one hotel guest who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The guest reported hearing a commotion in the hallway beginning before 6 a.m. Later, the guest heard agents in the hallway loudly demanding someone open a door. A man was later seen being led out of the building in handcuffs. The door of one guest room was left open, with a large hole broken through it.

Courtesy photo

State Police, Suffolk Police, Riverhead Police and unmarked vehicles were parked outside one of the buildings at the Doctors Path apartment complex this morning. A helicopter circled overhead in that vicinity before dawn.

Riverhead Police Chief David Hegermiller acknowledged that Riverhead Police participated in the enforcement action. He referred a reporter’s inquiry to federal prosecutors.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York said he could not provide details of the operation because the indictments in question were still under seal. Twelve of the defendants will appear in federal court in Central Islip this afternoon, he said.

Police vehicles at the Doctors Path apartment complex Wednesday morning. Photo: Denise Civiletti

This a developing story. Check back for more information.

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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.