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Five people were charged in federal court yesterday with trafficking heroin, fentanyl and crack cocaine in the Riverhead area.

Robert Quarles, 43, of Mastic, Charles Scruggs, 31, of Riverhead, Michael Steketee, 41, of Flanders, Tyrone Ligon, 49, of Southampton and Deena Colgan, 47 of Riverhead were, for more than a year, involved in a conspiracy to distribute several controlled substances, including over one kilogram of heroin, 40 grams of fentanyl and crack cocaine, according to federal prosecutors.

Quarles, Scruggs, Steketee and Ligon were arrested yesterday morning and arraigned in federal court in Central Islip. At the time of his arrest, Quarles was in possession of distribution quantities of crack cocaine and heroin, according to police. Ligon was also found in possession of narcotics when he was taken into custody.

Colgan was already in custody and will be arraigned April 2, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.

U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue and FBI New York Field Office Assistant Director in Charge William Sweeney Jr. announced the charges Thursday afternoon.

“As alleged, the defendants sold dangerous drugs with no regard for the harm caused to the users or residents of the community,” Donoghue said in a press release.

“This office and our law enforcement partners at the FBI and the East End Drug Task Force will continue to tirelessly investigate and prosecute individuals who contribute to the opioid epidemic,” Donoghue said.

“These dealers who allegedly trafficked in deadly illegal drugs don’t see the destruction left in their wake, they only see the money they make from pushing and selling,” Sweeney said. “The opioid deaths in our community and our country get worse each day, but the FBI Long Island Gang Task Force and our law enforcement partners won’t stop investigating and arresting all the dealers we can to keep more people from dying,” he said.

Editor’s note: A criminal charge is an accusation. A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

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