Major drug bust in Suffolk County

July 27, 2009 1:33:45 PM PDT
Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota announced Monday more than 100 arrests as the result of a four-month crackdown on street sales of heroin in Suffolk County. Those arrested include 57-year-old Alex Vavas of Port Jefferson, who the District Attorney says is suspected of trafficking in large amounts of heroin that was cut and packaged in New York City to sell in Suffolk."Vavas controlled a crew of dealers who operated out of a house on Old Town Road in Port Jefferson Station, where surveillance established upwards of 50 people per day coming and going to buy heroin," said Spota. He also said 244 bags of heroin Vavas stored in a black bag in a kitchen cabinet, a .22-caliber semi-automatic pistol, a .25-auto caliber semi-automatic and a shotgun were also found.

At the news conference, Spota said 4,000 bags of heroin with a street value of $400,000 were seized, along with the prescription drugs oxycodone, vicodin, xanax and methadone.

"Heroin can have a devastating effect on our communities," said Suffolk Executive Steve Levy, who was also at the news conference. "This far-reaching, successful probe is an example of how we are applying Suffolk police personnel to most effectively protect our residents and families."

Spota said there is evidence Vavas purchased heroin from Brooklyn and Queens dealers and distributed the drug to "runners" who used a house at 661 Old Town Road in Port Jefferson Station as a base of operations. Vavas is charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, fourth-degree criminal possession and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

When he was arrested, Spota said Vavas told detectives he bought a bundle of heroin for $80 and sold it in Suffolk for an average of $110 a bundle.

"Incredibly," DA Spota said, "Vavas proudly explained his rationale for dealing heroin telling police, 'I pay my bills and I help people at the same time.'"

The district attorney said Vavas was earning as much as $13,000 per week distributing heroin to his network of street dealers.


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