Task force making dent in Suffolk County drug trade

April 13, 2010 2:42:57 PM PDT
Suffolk County authorities showed off quite a haul of weapons and drugs belonging to alleged drug dealers now off the street.

"We shouldn't have this in our communities. Nobody should have to put up with this," Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer said.

The heroin epidemic has reached unprecedented levels across long island.

A problem with its roots in Colombia, where Eyewitness News traveled in February to document the path heroin takes from poppy fields to suburban streets. Undercover detectives, from local law enforcement to the FBI, are trying to fight the alarming trend tied closely to another growing problem -- gang violence.

"The more we go after the gang members, the more we block the gang members. The more we go after the drug trade, the more we stifle this type of gang activity," Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy said.

It's far from victory, but Suffolk County leaders announced they're finally making a dent in trade of heroin.

At the beginning of the year, Suffolk county police pulled together three sergeants, 7 officers and 21 detectives for this special task force, and the arrests are piling up as county leaders struggle to get a handle on an out-of-control epidemic.

In the first three months of this year, a newly formed drug task force made 279 heroin-related arrests. That's up 33 percent from last year.

Those arrests count for 400 individual charges. That's up 44 percent.

And it's not just heroin. One of the suspects, Dr. Binod Singh of Bay Shore, is accused of selling undercover cops hundreds of oxycodone pills and two blank prescription pads.