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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
June 2, 2003


image of bruno arreola

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
HAZANS operated a large scale marijuana and ecstasy distribution organization that employed approximately 60 individuals as distributors, warehouse workers, drivers, packers and money launderers. Their organization trafficked in tons of marijuana grown in Mexico and hydroponic marijuana from Canada for more than a decade. The majority of the marijuana was sold to drug dealers on Long Island, Brooklyn and the Bronx. According to the same court filings, the state and federal investigations, which included confidential sources of information, physical surveillance and court-authorized wiretaps, disclosed the HAZANS' organization used tanker trucks with false compartments to ferry drugs and drug proceeds to and from Canada and Mexico, as well as a string of stash houses to store narcotics and drug money. The investigation further revealed that ARREOLA was one of the HAZANS' sources of supply, brokering truckload-size shipments of marijuana from Mexico.

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
enforcement's Career Dealer Initiative ("CDI"), a task force of federal and state agents which has targeted major marijuana dealers on Long Island and in the New York City metropolitan area. CDI combines historical investigation with financial analysis to identify, prosecute and dismantle professional wholesale drug merchants. It has focused the combined strength of local, state and federal agencies on large-scale, multi-million dollar narcotics operations, that often avoided investigation and prosecution as a result of their familiarity with law enforcement techniques, prosecution guidelines and law enforcement priorities. To date, CDI has resulted in the arrest of over 150 defendants and the seizure of more than $25 million. In addition, many previously unsolved major crimes in Nassau and Suffolk Counties have been cleared, including ten drive-by shootings, 16 arsons, 48 home invasion burglaries, nine robberies and two drug-related kidnapings

The task force, in this investigation, consists of agents, officers and investigators of the
DEA, IRS, the New York State Police, Suffolk County Police Department, Nassau County Police Department, Nassau County District Attorney's Office and the Suffolk County Sheriff's Department.

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."
If convicted on the narcotics charges, the defendants each face a minimum sentence of ten years imprisonment and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, a minimum of ten years supervised release, and $4,000,000 in fines. If convicted on the money laundering charges, each defendant faces a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment, 3 years of supervised release, and $500,000 in fines. In addition, ARREOLA faces forfeiture of $2,000,000, and the HAZANS each face forfeiture of $20,000,0000.

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.
Ryan, Jr., Timothy Driscoll and Charles P. Kelly. The State prosecutions are being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Robert Ewald and James Cudden.

Age: 36
Residence: 24 Ronde Drive, Commack, New York
Age: 37
Residence: 735 Second Avenue, New York, New York
Age: 45
Residence: 4976 Pageuda Court, San Diego , California

For further information please contact:
Public Information Officer
Special Agent Elizabeth M. Jordan

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