News Flash

Press Releases

Posted on: November 6, 2019

150,000 Potentially Fatal Overdoses of Fentanyl Seized During NCDA Drug Bust in Hempstead

Updated transparent seal

MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas, the FBI Long Island Gang Task Force and the ATF Long Island Firearms Taskforce announced that 11 people have been indicted by a grand jury for their alleged roles in violent drug and gun rings operating in Hempstead.

DA Singas said that beginning in April 2019, to curb drug and gun-related violence in Hempstead, the NCDA, FBI and ATF began simultaneous investigations into a drug ring and separate gun ring that allegedly operated in and around 100 Terrace Avenue in Hempstead.

In total, 400 grams of fentanyl valued at more than $130,000, 500 grams of cocaine valued at $50,000 and eight firearms were seized during this investigation. The 400 grams of seized fentanyl represents 150,000 potentially fatal overdoses and the largest fentanyl seizure in Nassau County history. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, two milligrams of fentanyl is fatal in most adults.

“The massive quantity of nearly-pure fentanyl seized in this investigation is enough to cause a staggering 150,000 lethal overdoses,” DA Singas said. “I am grateful to our partners for their outstanding collaboration protect the Hempstead community from these dangerous drugs and illegal guns.”

County Executive Laura Curran said, “The sheer quantity of deadly drugs seized by law enforcement amount to a weapon of mass destruction against our residents. Nassau County will continue cracking down on those dealing addiction and violence into our communities. Thank you to DA Singas, Nassau PD, and our local, state and federal law enforcement for continuing to keep us safe.”

 William F. Sweeney, Jr., FBI New York Assistant Director-in-Charge said, “People are dying every day because of the types of drugs these men are accused of selling in Nassau County. We are facing a national crisis in part because dealers and pushers like those indicted in this investigation are all out to make a quick buck. This investigation should serve as a significant warning to local leaders, educators, and the community-at-large that continued distribution of these drugs will be devastating to our society. Please take a moment to educate yourself and your families on this threat. I would like to commend District Attorney Singas, the other agency heads and each of task force agents, detectives and prosecutors involved in this work, but also remind the community that the FBI Long Island Gang Task Force needs your continued assistance and engagement to effectively address this threat.”

John Devito, ATF Special Agent in Charge, New York Field Division said, “Today’s announcement signals the end of a violent drug and gun ring operating in Hempstead that endangered thousands with the illegal narcotic fentanyl. This coordinated operation which included a host of local, state and federal partners on Long Island, led to the largest seizure of fentanyl in Nassau County history along with numerous illegal firearms. Thanks to the diligent efforts of the investigators on this case there is one less crew dealing in death on the streets of Long Island. I would like to thank the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office for their work on this case. I would also like to thank all our partners who stand side by side with us on the streets each and every day protecting the public from harm.”

Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said, “Today’s indictments of eleven defendants is a clear example of numerous law enforcement agencies working together to keep our residents and communities safe. With the termination of the illegal distribution of heroin, fentanyl, crack cocaine and guns we have kept these dangerous drugs and weapons off our streets and have undoubtedly saved lives. I would thank the agencies and their investigators for their professionalism, dedication and for a job well done.”

Rockville Centre Police Commissioner James Vafeades said, “This seizure is the result of the hard work and cooperative efforts of the law enforcement partners that worked together on this case. The amount and serious nature of the drugs seized emphasizes the danger that exists on our streets every day. This should raise awareness of the public to not only the dangers of fentanyl but of the hard work of law enforcement and their efforts to keep the public safe.”

New York State Police Superintendent Keith M. Corlett said, “These arrests are the result of an aggressive strategy to stop illegal drug trafficking and keep crack cocaine and other deadly drugs off our streets. Together, with our partners in federal, local and state law enforcement, we can, and will stop the infiltration of harmful narcotics into our communities and we will continue to work vigilantly to put dangerous individuals like these gang members behind bars.”

DA Singas said that on September 15, 2019, the alleged ringleader of the eight-person drug ring, Ricky Jackson, an inmate at FMC Devens Federal Prison in Massachusetts, allegedly directed his business partner Darren Devane and girlfriend Angelique White to take possession of what was believed to be 100 grams of heroin stored in White’s apartment.

NCDA investigators and members of the FBI Long Island Gang Taskforce seized the 100 grams from White and searched her apartment the next day - seizing an additional 300 grams of a white powdery substance.

Testing later revealed the total 400 grams – thought to be heroin – were allegedly nearly pure fentanyl.

According to the indictment, in addition to Ricky Jackson, Devane was supplied drugs by Jamel Lewis. Lewis allegedly used several individuals, including Trevor Ford, to assist him with distributing narcotics in and around Hempstead.

Devane allegedly stored drugs at Drew’s mother’s apartment located at 115 Terrace Avenue and on July 19, 2019, investigators found 38 grams of crack cocaine inside the residence following the execution of a search warrant.

It is also alleged that Devane instructed his girlfriend, Shariah Usher, who was seven months pregnant at the time, to conduct a drug deal involving 100 grams of cocaine.

The drug ring allegedly packaged and sold approximately $10,000 worth of cocaine a week. Additionally, Devane, Ford, Jackson and Drew are alleged Blood gang members.

A simultaneous investigation into a Brooklyn-based gun ring resulted in the arrests of three individuals for allegedly trafficking and selling firearms in Hempstead.

It is alleged that Joseph Robertson, Victor Cain, and un-arraigned third defendant, concealed guns in shopping bags and clothing while the guns were transported to Nassau County.

On April 10 and June 25– Robertson allegedly traveled from Brooklyn to East Fulton Street in Hempstead in his own vehicle to sell a 40-caliber pistol – one on each date. Those pistols were allegedly wrapped in t-shirts. On May 8 – Victor Cain allegedly took an Uber from Brooklyn to Greenwich Street in Hempstead to sell a 38-caliber loaded revolver.

In total, eight firearms were seized, including three .40 pistols, two .38 revolvers and one 30 round extended magazine.

Darren Devane, aka Buck, 33, of Hempstead was arraigned October 25 before Judge Tammy Robbins and charged with Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree (an A-I felony), three counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Second Degree (an A-II felony), nine counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree (a B felony), Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree (a B felony), Conspiracy in the Second Degree (a B felony) and three counts of Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree (an E felony). Bail was set at $200,000 bond or $100,000 cash and the defendant is due back in court November 1. If convicted of the top count, he faces a maximum of 12 years to 24 years in prison.

Michael Drew, 39, of Hempstead, was arraigned October 31 before Judge Terence Murphy and charged with two counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree (a B felony), Conspiracy in the Second Degree (a B felony) and three counts of Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree (an E felony). Bail was set at $10,000 bond or $5,000 cash and the defendant is due back in court November 21. If convicted of the top count, he faces a maximum of 8-1/3years to 25 years in prison.

Trevor Ford, 28, of Hempstead, was arraigned October 28 before Judge Howard Sturim and charged with Conspiracy in the Second Degree (a B felony) and three counts of Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree (an E felony). The defendant was remanded and is due back in court November 6. If convicted of the top count, he faces a maximum of 12-1/2 years to 25 years in prison.

Ricky Jackson, 41, of Hempstead, was arraigned November 4 before Judge Terence Murphy and charged with Operating as a Major Trafficker (an A-I felony), Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree (an A-I felony), Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree (an A-I felony), Conspiracy in the Second Degree (a B felony) and two counts of Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree (an E felony). The defendant was remanded is due back in court December 9. If convicted of the top count, he faces a maximum of 25 years to life in prison.

Jamel Lewis, 39, of Hempstead, was arraigned on November 4 before Judge Terence Murphy and charged with two counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree (a B felony), Conspiracy in the Second Degree (a B felony) and three counts of Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree (an E felony). He was remanded and is due back in court on November 25. If convicted of the top count, he faces a maximum of 12 years to 24 years in prison. Additionally, this defendant was arraigned on October 29 before Judge Massell on one count of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree (an A-I felony). Bail was set at $600,000 bond or $300,000 cash, and the defendant is due back in court on November 16.  If convicted of this count, the defendant faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.

Shariah Usher, 28, of Hempstead, was arraigned on October 25 before Judge Tammy Robbins on charges of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree (an A-I felony), two counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree (a B felony), Conspiracy in the Second Degree (a B felony) and two counts of Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree (an E felony). The defendant was conditionally released to probation and is due back in court November 1. If convicted of the top count, she faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.

Angelique White, 40, of Hempstead was arraigned on October 30 before Judge Terence Murphy on charges of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree (an A-I felony), two counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree (a B felony), Conspiracy in the Second Degree (a B felony) and two counts of Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree (an E felony). Bail was set at $40,000 bond or $20,000 cash and she is due back in court December 5. If convicted of the top count, she faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.

Joseph Robertson, 36, of Brooklyn was arraigned on November 1 before Judge Meryl Berkowitz on charges of two counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree (a C felony), four counts of Criminal Sale of a Firearm (a D felony) and two counts of Criminal Possession of a Firearm (an E felony). Bail was set at $5,000 cash or bond and the defendant is due back in court December 5. If convicted of the top count, he faces a maximum of 15 years in prison.

Victor Cain, 30, of Brooklyn was arraigned October 30 before Judge Meryl Berkowitz on charges of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree (a C felony), Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree (a D felony), two counts of Criminal Sale of a Firearm (a D felony) and Criminal Possession of a Firearm (an E felony). Bail was set at $100,000 bond or $50,000 cash and the defendant is due back in court December 5. If convicted of the top count, he faces a maximum of seven years to 15 years in prison.

Two defendants remain outstanding.

The NCDA, FBI and ATF thank the Nassau County Police Department, New York State Police, Hempstead Police Department, Rockville Centre Police Department and the Nassau County Sheriff for their assistance on these investigations.

Senior Investigative Counsel Lee Genser of DA Singas’ Special Operations Narcotics and Gangs Bureau is prosecuting this case.

Defendants are represented by:

  • Devane: George Michel, Esq.
  • Drew: Maureen McBride, Esq.
  • Ford: Charles Hochbaum, Esq.
  • Jackson: Jeff Groder, Esq.
  • Lewis: Sheryl Channer, Esq.
  • Usher: Greg Madey, Esq.
  • White: unrepresented
  • Robertson: Gregory Watts, Esq.
  • Cain: Christopher Devane, Esq.

The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.

###

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Press Releases

MEDIA ADVISORY

Posted on: June 15, 2017
2016 Annual Report Cover

NCDA Releases 2016 Annual Report

Posted on: February 24, 2017