They say the pair stashed the powdered heroin in small blocks in the insoles. They were arrested outside a Melville, N.Y., hotel.
A crime lab analysis found the heroin was 85 to 90 percent pure.
Authorities estimate the 17 pounds could have been divided into up to a half-million dosages.
Long Island authorities say there has been a dramatic increase in heroin use, especially among teenagers, in recent years.
NEW YORK AND TRI-STATE AREA NEWS