MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that a Brooklyn man was sentenced today to 10 to 12 years in prison and five years’ post-release supervision after a trial conviction for his role in a multi-state heroin and cocaine smuggling ring.
Joseph Calixte, 30, was convicted on October 24, 2019, by a jury of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree (an A-I felony) and Conspiracy in the Second Degree (a B felony). The trial, before Judge Robert Schwartz lasted approximately seven weeks and the jury deliberated for three and a half days.
“This massive investigation stopped a multi-state drug trafficking ring from pumping huge quantities of cocaine and deadly heroin into our communities,” DA Singas said. “While we focus on drug treatment for those fighting addiction, we aggressively prosecute and seek tough sentences for traffickers like this defendant. Those who profit from selling poison in Nassau County will be held accountable.”
DA Singas said that on July 4, 2017, the defendant’s vehicle was stopped by Nassau County District Attorney Investigators on the side of the Southern State Parkway with two kilograms of cocaine, which is the equivalent of approximately four and a half pounds, inside a hidden compartment in the trunk.
The car stop, and the defendant’s arrest were the results of a six-month investigation into a multi-state heroin and cocaine smuggling ring involving a total of 19 defendants. To date, 18 defendants pled guilty and were sentenced in connection to the case, and one case remains open.
Calixte was considered a middle man in the drug ring, which distributed approximately three to five kilograms of cocaine and various quantities of heroin a week throughout the tri-state area, Upstate New York, Chicago, Maine, Maryland and Virginia. The group’s profits ranged from $200,000 to $300,000 a week.
Most of the defendants were arrested in October of 2017. The overall operation resulted in the recovery of multiple firearms and the arrest and convictions of some defendants with records including prior violent felony convictions. The arrest were made by members of the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the New York Police Department, the New York State Police, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, United States Marshal Service, Homeland Security Investigations, the United States National Guard, New York State National Guard, the Nassau County Police Department, the Nassau County Sheriff’s Department, the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department, Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office, and the Maryland State Police.
This case was named Operation Gillespie in honor of NCDA Special Investigator William Gillespie, who passed away on July 4, 2017 at the age of 56, shortly after arresting this defendant. Billy dedicated his life to protecting others as a decorated member of the NYPD and as an NCDA investigator. Billy made invaluable contributions to this case and thousands of others throughout his distinguished career, and we miss our valued colleague and dear friend.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Patrick Brand and Senior Assistant District Attorney Tova Simpson of DA Singas’ Special Operations Narcotics and Gangs Bureau. The defendant is pro se.