05/09/14 2:02pm
05/09/2014 2:02 PM
Police lead Colegedo Mokus and Nigel Ortiz into court Friday morning. (Credit: Cyndi Murray)

Police lead Colegedo Mokus (left) and Nigel Ortiz into court Friday morning. (Credit: Cyndi Murray)

Two men facing felony drug charges following an East End Drug Task Force raid in Mattituck remain in custody after failing to post bail following their Friday morning arraignment.  (more…)

02/19/14 2:24pm
02/19/2014 2:24 PM
PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | District attorney Thomas Spota points to the suspects arrested in a heroin trafficking ring at a press conference Wednesday.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | District attorney Thomas Spota points to the suspects arrested in a heroin trafficking ring at a press conference Wednesday.

A collaboration between police forces has broken up a massive heroin ring that ferried a “pure, strong and very sought-after” brand of the drug to Riverhead from East Harlem, authorities said.

Nine men, including four from Riverhead and one from Calverton, were arrested for their roles in the ring after an investigation by the East End Drug Task Force that lasted over a year, District Attorney Thomas Spota said.  (more…)

02/18/14 10:21pm
02/18/2014 10:21 PM
(File photo by Jennifer Gustavson)

Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota. (File photo by Jennifer Gustavson)

Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota is expected to announce details tomorrow about an East End Drug Task Force bust involving five Riverhead men dealing heroin stamped with the word “Hollywood,” according to a press release.

(more…)

12/23/13 4:00pm
12/23/2013 4:00 PM
perps

CYNDI MURRAY PHOTOS | Adam Huhn, left, and Britni Jade Zielinski entering Southold Town Justice Court on Monday. The couple was arrested Sunday on drug charges.

A Mattituck couple has pleaded not guilty to drug charges following their arrest during a police raid at their Wavecrest Avenue home.

Adam Huhn, 36, and Britni Jade Zielinski, 28, were found in possession of methamphetamine, marijuana, scales and packaging materials about 5 p.m. Sunday night after an investigation by Southampton Town police, Southold Town police and investigators from the Suffolk County District Attorney’s East End Drug Task Force, officials said.

At the couple’s arraignment in Southold Town Justice Court Monday, prosecutors said Mr. Huhn had no prior criminal history, but Ms. Zielinski had been arrested in 2009 on drug and grand larceny charges in Florida.

They were each charged with two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance and two counts of criminal use of drug paraphernalia, all felonies, as well as one count each of unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation, police said.

Mr. Huhn was held on $5,000 cash bail and Ms. Zielinski was held on $25,000 cash bail .

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08/27/13 11:13pm
08/27/2013 11:13 PM
PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Riverhead police detectives outside the Koppert Cress greenhouse on Horton Avenue Tuesday afternoon.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Riverhead police detectives outside the Koppert Cress greenhouse on Horton Avenue Tuesday afternoon.

UPDATE (Dec. 4, 2014): Charges of unlawfully growing cannabis against Anton Van De Wetering, 45, of Laurel will be dismissed so long as Mr. Van De Wetering does not get arrested for six months.

Original Story: A Laurel man was busted for growing marijuana at a Riverhead greenhouse Tuesday afternoon after Riverhead Town police and the East End Drug Task Force found more than 50 marijuana plants on the property, according to a Riverhead police statement.

Police searched the Koppert Cress greenhouse on the corner of Sound Avenue and Horton Avenue with a warrant and discovered 57 plants, as well as a box truck used to transport the plants, according to the statement. Some of the plants were discovered on the property, while others were found in the truck, police said.

All of the plants were in a “grown phase” and had not yet been harvested, police said.

Anton Van De Wetering, 43, of Laurel was arrested and charged with two counts of Unlicensed Growing of Canabis, a class “A” misdemeanor, according to the statement. Police said additional charges will be filed once the marijuana plants are analyzed and weighed by the Suffolk County Crime Lab.

Mr. Van de Wetering is the son of 82-year-old Peter Van de Wetering, who founded Van de Wetering Greenhouses in 1958. The greenhouses have produced the tulips that line Park Avenue for years, and the company was featured  in an April New York Times article.

The younger Van de Wetering, who was the longtime manager of Van de Wetering Greenhouses, is “no longer affiliated in any way with Van de Wetering Greenhouses,” said a company representative.

Anton Van de Wetering left the company over a year ago, the spokesman said.

While at the scene Tuesday afternoon, police Lt. David Lessard said authorities believed contraband was “brought onto the property.” Police later said the East End Drug Task Force received a tip from a confidential informant about the marijuana.

A man who answered the phone listed for the Koppert Cress company said he had “no idea what was going on” at the Sound Avenue greenhouse. Koppert Cress bought the property searched by police from the Talmage family in 2012.

The East End Drug Task Force is headed by the district attorney’s office and comprises law enforcement personnel from across the county’s five East End towns.

A Suffolk County police helicopter was called in to assist during the investigation and Riverhead police were seen walking through the parking lot of the greenhouse, with some patrol cars leaving and returning to the scene.

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04/18/13 7:04am
04/18/2013 7:04 AM
Robert Love (inset) has pleaded guilty to

DA PHOTO | Robert Love (inset) has pleaded guilty to charges related to a drug trafficking ring.

The Riverhead ex-con who helped run a sophisticated cocaine ring between New York City and Riverhead has pleaded guilty to felony drug and conspiracy charges for his role in the drug-smuggling operation, according to court records.

Robert Love, 59, copped to second-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, a class A felony, and third-degree conspiracy, a class D felony, during a Wednesday court appearance, records show.

Mr. Love and his alleged co-conspirators — identified by authorities as Miguel Matos, 45, and Radames “Ray” Melendez, 22, both of the Bronx — ferried more than three kilos of drugs a week on average to the East End using hidden compartments in three vehicles to transport the drugs, authorities have said.

Mr. Love received about a kilo of cocaine, worth roughly $37,000 each, every other day, said Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota. He then broke the kilos into gram-sized pieces and sold them in Riverhead, Greenport, Flanders and Southampton for $50 and $60 a gram.

Authorities said the cocaine operation was one of the largest in East End history.

Mr. Love was on parole while he operated the ring, after being previously convicted of cocaine sale and possession.

He was released from prison in December 2009, but was arrested with the other two Bronx men on June 13 by Riverhead Town police.

Mr. Love tried to flee police and threw a kilo of cocaine over a fence when police arrested him at his Riverhead home, authorities said after the arrest.

The drug charge to which Mr. Love pleaded guilty carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison for a second-time offender, and he faces up to seven years in prison for the conspiracy charge. He will be sentenced May 24, court records show. He is currently being held at the Suffolk County jail on $1 million bond or $500,000 cash bail for sentencing.

Mr. Matos, whom officials identified as a “major player” in the drug world and the mastermind behind the operation, is being held on $2 million bond or $1 million cash bail and is due in court on April 30.

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