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Posted on: April 28, 2022

Major Trafficker Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison for Role in Hempstead Narcotics Ring

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Able McTootle was one of forty defendants indicted as part of “Operation Honeycomb” joint investigation with NCDA, FBI Long Island Gang Task Force, ATF Task Force, NCPD, Postal Service, DEA, & State Police

MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly announced that a major trafficker was sentenced today to 12 years in prison for his involvement in a narcotics trafficking ring that operated in the Hempstead area, and stretched throughout Nassau County, New York City, and Suffolk County. 

Able McTootle, 43, of Hempstead, pleaded guilty on March 30, 2022, before Judge Robert Schwartz to 39 separate charges, including Operating as a Major Narcotics Trafficker (an A-I felony); Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree (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 Second Degree (an A-II felony); 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); and Conspiracy in the Second Degree (a B felony). The defendant was sentenced today to 12 years in prison and five years’ post release supervision. 

McTootle was one of 40 individuals indicted in March 2021 as part of “Operation Honeycomb,” an 18-month investigation by the NCDA; Federal Bureau of Investigation Long Island Gang Task Force; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Long Island Field Division; the Nassau County Police Department; the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; the New York State Police; and Drug Enforcement Administration. The Task Force includes members of the FBI, New York State Police, Nassau County Police, Suffolk County Police, Hempstead Police and Rockville Centre Police departments, as well as the Nassau County and Suffolk County sheriff’s departments. 

“We began this operation to get at the heart of the violence in Hempstead. That investigation led us directly to Able McTootle, a key drug supplier to the most violent individuals in the area,” said DA Donnelly. “The pursuit of this defendant grew into a massive takedown with our local, federal, and state partners, that has since resulted in the guilty pleas of more than two dozen drug traffickers and dealers, including several major traffickers from Hempstead. We will continue our work to dismantle the dangerous web of drugs, weapons, and violence that plague our communities, and take narcotics traffickers off our streets.”

Operation Honeycomb began when the NCDA and the ATF started investigating an increase of violence and drug-dealing in the Hempstead area in October 2019. After several drug and gun purchases, the NCDA applied for electronic eavesdropping warrants in February 2020 for the purpose of identifying large-scale narcotic suppliers in the Hempstead area.

As the investigation expanded, nine individuals emerged as alleged major traffickers, including Able McTootle. 

DA Donnelly said McTootle acted as a major supplier to numerous smaller dealers in Nassau County, selling up to four to six kilograms of cocaine every week. 

McTootle made more than $1 million a year selling narcotics and more than $100,000 cash was recovered from him or from people that he had recently given money to purchase cocaine on his behalf. 

Upon his arrest on March 10, 2021, authorities recovered 404 grams of cocaine, 46 grams of heroin, 21 grams of fentanyl, and various narcotic grinders, blenders, presses, and scales in his residence on Wellesley Street in Hempstead. Authorities also recovered three bulletproof vests and 9 mm ammunition.

Prosecutors say the drugs being sold in Hempstead by McTootle and his co-defendants were trafficked from as far away as Puerto Rico, as well as California, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

With the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, the cost of cocaine began to vary widely, skyrocketing from approximately $32,000 per kilogram to a peak of $55,000 per kilogram in August 2020.

Demand vastly exceeded supply, and McTootle and other major traffickers capitalized on this trend by price-gauging narcotics addicts.

In total, the street value of the narcotics seized during the investigation was estimated to be approximately $2,772,000. 

To date, 30 of the defendants indicted in the investigation have pled guilty and 21 of those defendants have been sentenced. The cases against the remaining defendants are pending. 

The case was prosecuted by Deputy Bureau Chief Patrick Brand and Assistant District Attorney Andrew Lee of the Organized Crime and Rackets Bureau. The defendant is represented by Bruce Barket, Esq.


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