Holtsville couple among 14 arrested in heroin ring bust

N.J. Burkett reports from Holtsville
April 2, 2014 3:57:28 PM PDT
A Long Island couple, their alleged supplier and 11 others are under arrest and facing charges in what authorities are calling a massive heroin ring bust.

Suffolk County District Attorney Tom Spota says husband and wife Aaron Smith and Kelly Mullen were indicted last week, along with alleged supplier Miguel Vicente, of Brooklyn.

"These defendants flooded Suffolk County with tens of thousands of bags of heroin they brought here from a Brooklyn dealer, Miguel Vicente, who would prepare kilos of the drug for street sales," Spota said. "In fact, Vicente, to encourage repeat business and dealer loyalty, would regularly overfill the bags."

Prosecutors say the 29-year-old Mullen and 57-year-old Smith used their Holtsville home as the main distribution point for heroin pickups by local drug dealers from Holbrook, Oakdale, Islip, Central Islip, Ronkonkoma, Shirley and Riverhead.

"As many as five dealers a day came to this house, where five to 10 children live at any given time, to pick up their heroin," Spota said. "When we arrived with a search warrant, there were bags of heroin scattered about, including heroin left next to the crib of Mullen and Smith's daughter."

"I'm glad it's come to an end," said Karen Hains, a neighbor.

An extended family of 10 children lived in the home and hypodermic needles were found outside, officials said.

Police confiscated tens of thousands of packets of heroin bearing the stamp "HIGH OCTANE," five ounces of powder and crack cocaine, $37,000 in cash, a $40,000 wristwatch and other jewelry seized during the execution of court-authorized search warrants from the homes and cars of the suspects.

"There's an important distinction setting apart these the main conspirators from most of their colleagues," Spota noted. "The suppliers, Vicente, Mullen and Smith don't use heroin. Their addiction is to greed, a craving they satisfied by destroying the lives of other people."

The suspects are charged with drug trafficking, conspiracy and other charges. They could face life in prison.