Drug Enforcement Administration

New York

Acting Special Agent in Charge Keith Kruskall , Special Agent in Charge

June 13, 2016

Contact: Erin Mulvey

Phone Number: (212) 337-3900

Seven Arrested For Heroin Ring That Reached From Pittsburgh To Nassau County

More than 3.4 Kilograms of Heroin Seized with Street Value of up to $1 Million

MINEOLA, N.Y. - Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt, U.S. Drug Enforcement (DEA), New York Division, Acting Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas, announced that seven people have been arrested and indicted for their alleged involvement in a heroin ring that operated in Nassau County, Queens County and Pittsburgh.

“Drug traffickers view heroin distribution as profit, while communities and law enforcement see it as pure poison.  Drug law enforcement is diligently pooling resources, merging task forces and coordinating data to identify traffickers fueling opioid addiction throughout the Northeast,” Hunt said.  “Today’s announcement shows our commitment to safeguarding our neighborhoods from the dangers of heroin abuse.”

Approximately 3.4 kilograms of heroin were seized as a result of the investigation.  The heroin has an approximate street value of $750,000 to $1 million.
 
 “Heroin is devastating our families, communities and our country. With these arrests we stopped more than three kilograms of heroin from reaching our streets,” Singas added. “We will continue to collaborate with our law enforcement partners and use every available tool to hunt down those who peddle this deadly poison and bring them to justice.”

“Crime has no boundaries and this case is a great example of how partners in law enforcement utilized talented personnel and resources to bring this defendant to justice.  This recent extradition should serve as a deterrent to criminals everywhere as we at the Nassau County Police Department are committed to working with our fellow law enforcement partners to ensure public safety,” said Acting Commissioner of Police Thomas Krumpter.

Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan said, “I commend Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas, the Nassau County Police Department, and members of the DEA and the Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s Office, for their dedication to stemming the flow of heroin into our region. Effective collaboration is the key to our ability to work our way up the chain of supply and dismantle the leadership of criminal trafficking organizations that reap profits by selling this dangerous drug. We are committed to assisting our law enforcement partners throughout New York City and New York State in this important effort.”

Six of the seven defendants have been arraigned on multiple charges, while the final defendant was transported from Georgia this weekend and is expected to be arraigned on sealed grand jury indictment charges today. 

The ring, allegedly directed by defendant Victor McKeever in Pittsburgh, used a stash house in Kew Gardens, Queens, and sold drugs intended for Freeport in Nassau County and other locations.

McKeever, 53, was arraigned Thursday morning before Acting Supreme Court Justice Meryl Berkowitz on charges including Operating as a Major (an A-I felony), Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 1st (an A-I felony), Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 2nd (an A-II felony), Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 3rd (a B felony), two counts of Conspiracy in the 2nd (a B felony) and Conspiracy in the 4th (an E felony).

The defendant pleaded not guilty and bail was set at $1,000,000 bond or $500,000 cash. McKeever is due back in court on July 12. He faces a maximum of 25 years to life in prison if convicted on the top count. McKeever was arrested in December 2015 and was extradited by members of the Nassau County Police Department last week.

The arrests are the result of a four-month joint investigation into heroin sales involving the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office, Nassau County Police Department Narcotics Vice Bureau and the DEA Long Island District Office Task Force, which comprises agents and officers of the DEA, NCPD, NCDA, New York State Police, Suffolk County Police Department, Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office and the Hempstead Police Department.

The investigation was assisted by members of the Office of Special Narcotics Prosecutor, DEA Newark, DEA Los Angeles, DEA Pittsburgh, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department, Pennsylvania State Parole and the U.S. Marshals.

Four defendants were arraigned on the indictment charges in January before Judge Deligatti with a fifth arraigned in April.

Tariq Johnson, 39, of Englewood, NJ, was arraigned on January 28 on charges including Operating as a Major (an A-I felony), Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the 1st (an A-I felony), two counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 1st (an A-I felony), two counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 2nd (an A-II felony), two counts of Conspiracy in the 2nd (a B felony), Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the 3rd (a B felony), two counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 3rd (a B felony), Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 5th (a D felony), Conspiracy in the 4th (an E felony) and two counts of Criminally Using Drug Paraphernalia in the 2nd (an A misdemeanor). Bail was set at $250,000 bond or $150,000 cash. The defendant faces a maximum of 25 years to life in prison if convicted on the top count.

Mark Mahabirsingh, 34, of Queens, NY, was arraigned on January 27 on charges including Operating as a Major (an A-I felony), three counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the 1st (an A-I felony), Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 1st (an A-I felony), Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 2nd (an A-II felony), two counts of Conspiracy in the 2nd (a B felony), three counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the 3rd (a B felony), five counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 3rd (a B felony), and Conspiracy in the 4th (an  E felony). Bail was set at $200,000 bond or $100,000 cash. The defendant faces a maximum of 25 years to life in prison if convicted on the top count.

Donna Martin, a/k/a/ Donna Peart-Martin, 51, of Freeport, NY, was arraigned on January 27 on charges including Operating as a Major (an A-I felony), two counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the 1st (an A-I felony), Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 1st (an A-I felony), Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 2nd (an A-II felony), two counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the 3rd (a B felony), five counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 3rd (a B felony), two counts of Conspiracy in the 2nd (a B felony), and Conspiracy in the 4th (an E felony). Bail was at $250,000 bond or $125,000 cash. The defendant faces a maximum of 25 years to life in prison if convicted on the top count.

Shawn Patterson, 49, of North Charleston, SC, was arraigned on January 27 on charges including two counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 1st (an A-I felony), two counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 2nd (an A-II felony), two counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 3rd (a B felony), Conspiracy in the 2nd (a B felony), two counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 5th (a D felony), Conspiracy in the 4th (an E felony) and two counts of Criminally Using Drug Paraphernalia in the 2nd (an A misdemeanor),. Bail was set at $250,000 bond or $150,000 cash. The defendant faces a maximum of 20 years in prison if convicted on the top count.

Anthony Greer, a/k/a/ Nephew, 25, of Pittsburgh, was arraigned on April 26 before Judge Deligatti on charges including Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 1st (an A-I felony), Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 2nd (an A-II felony), Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 3rd (a B felony), Conspiracy in the 2nd (a B felony), and Conspiracy in the 4th (an E felony). Bail was set at $100,000 bond or cash. The defendant faces a maximum of 20 years to life in prison if convicted on the top count.

Singas said that McKeever allegedly directed the ring from his home in Pennsylvania, using Martin and Mahabirsingh as the local distributors of heroin.

Detectives and investigators from the various agencies followed Martin and Mahabirsingh and observed meetings between them and other members of the alleged distribution network, including Tariq Johnson, Anthony Greer and an unnamed codefendant. On November 22, this surveillance led to the seizure of approximately two kilograms of heroin that was recovered from a Mega Bus depot in Manhattan.

Greer was allegedly found in possession of two kilograms of heroin after a police dog smelled the narcotics in a backpack that was destined for Pittsburgh. Johnson, Martin and Mahabirsingh were allegedly involved in the transport of the heroin.

As the investigation continued, the network’s “stash house” was identified as an apartment in Kew Gardens, Queens. On December 9, approximately one kilogram of heroin, cutting agents, plastic wrapping and a kilogram press were recovered from the house. On the same day, Patterson was arrested in connection with this conspiracy, allegedly having approximately 400 grams of heroin in his possession. 

Assistant District Attorneys Brittany Gurrieri, Lauren Kalaydjian and Kristen Fexas, Deputy Bureau Chief of DA Singas’ Special Operations, Narcotics and Gangs Bureau, are prosecuting the case.

The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.

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