Former NYPD cop, wife charged in alleged drug operation at Long Island home

NORTH MERRICK, Long Island (WABC) -- A former NYPD officer and his wife were arrested Tuesday, with police alleging that a drug operation was being run out of their Long Island home.

Officials said 59-year-old Kenneth Riggio, of North Merrick, face several charges, including criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell and criminal possession of a weapon. His wife, 53-year-old Faith Riggio, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Police said they found several incriminating items after conducting unscheduled probation check of Kenneth Riggio at his Meadowbrook Road home Tuesday. He has previous drug, DWI and assault convictions.

Those items include 200 Oxycodone tablets, numerous Xanax tablets, eight clear bags containing a white powdery substance believed to be cocaine, a tan powdery substance believed to be heroin, and a switchblade knife. Police also recovered $146,000 in cash.

"This guy is across the street from a school, a day care center, selling Oxys out of his residence, from the complaints that we received of cars coming and going all day long," Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said.

Kenneth Riggio is currently unemployed but served as an NYPD officer from 1981 to 1985. Faith Riggio is a teacher's aide in the North Merrick School District.

"We got a lot of community complaints about this particular residence, which helped to build the case," Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said. "We need everyone in our communities to step forward and help us get rid of these drug dealers and get these drugs out of the hands of our kids...I'm so grateful for the partnership between the probation department and our police department in getting these drugs in the garbage and getting these people to be held accountable."

Kenneth Riggio's attorney Michael Dergarabedian says Riggio told him he has prescriptions for the oxycodone and that a large check that police also seized may have been from a personal injury settlement.

WATCH: Officials announce arrests of former NYPD officer and his wife

North Merrick School District Superintendent of Schools Dr. Cynthia Seniuk issued the following statement:

"The district has been informed that a Camp Avenue special education aide has been arrested for alleged possession and sale of drugs. Please know that prior to the hiring of all of our employees, a thorough background check is conducted by the district. However, due to the arrest, this employee was immediately placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the legal investigation. Please be reassured that the safety and security of our students and staff are always our top priority."

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