LONG ISLAND DRUG TRAFFICKERS ARRESTED
ANTHONY P. PLACIDO, Special Agent-in-Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, New York and ROSLYNN R. MAUSKOPF, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, today announced the indictment in May 2003 of BARRY HAZAN and WARREN HAZAN and the June 2, 2003 unsealing of an indictment against BRUNO ARREOLA charging them with participating in a wholesale drug distribution and money laundering ring, and the seizure of 4,000 pounds of marijuana and $11 million in drug proceeds from locations on Long Island.
A federal grand jury sitting in Central Islip, New York, charged each defendant with conspiring to traffick in more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana and money laundering.
On May 16, 2003, the HAZANS were arraigned before United States District Judge Joanna Seybert and entered pleas of not guilty. BARRY HAZAN was released on a $1 million secured bond; WARREN HAZAN remains in custody. ARREOLA was arrested pursuant to an arrest warrant in Las Vegas, Nevada, and, over the objection of the government, was released on bail. ARREOLA subsequently fled and remains a fugitive. As a result, he has also been charged with bail jumping, and if convicted on that charge faces a maximum of ten years imprisonment.
In pleadings and
other documents filed with the court, the government alleged that the
At the time of the arrest of the HAZANS in December 2002, agents searched a stash house located at 84 Old Country Road, Dix Hills, New York, and seized a truck containing 697 pounds of marijuana, industrial scales, heat sealing machines, plastic packaging used for marijuana, a money counting machine, unregistered handguns and an SKS assault rifle. Agents also seized 13 vehicles used by the organization -- including a Mitsubishi Montero, a Dodge Durango, a Corvette, a tractor-trailer, several vans and a panel truck. Many of the vehicles were equipped with sophisticated hidden storage compartments known as "traps." Shortly thereafter, agents seized approximately $9.7 million in cash from hidden safes located at two storage facilities on Windsor Place in Central Islip, New York, and at a tanning salon owned by the HAZANS at 295 Broadway, in Hicksville, New York. According to the DEA, this cash seizure is believed to be the largest ever by law enforcement on Long Island. Agents also intercepted a 3,500 pound truckload of marijuana at a warehouse located on Trade Zone Drive in Islip. The government's continuing investigation has resulted in the seizure of an additional $1.3 million in stock and bank accounts belonging to the HAZAN organization.
The arrests and indictments
of the HAZANS and ARREOLA are the product of law
The task force, in
this investigation, consists of agents, officers and investigators of
DEA Special Agent-in-Charge
PLACIDO stated, "Despite much of the recent chatter about
using marijuana as medicine, this case demonstrates the enormous profit
potential available to criminals who pander t o the illicit marijuana
trade. People engage in drug traffi cking for three reasons - money, money
and more money. Today we demonstrate our resolve to seize and forfeit
the proceeds of this illegal enterprise and to incarcerate those individuals
who would engage in this criminal activity."
The HAZANS are also charged in Suffolk County Court with criminal possession of marijuana in the first degree, in violation of New York Penal Law, Section 221.30, which carries a sentence of imprisonment of from five to 15 years.
The federal cases
are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Burton T.