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Street racers plead guilty, sentenced to 280 hours community service

09/27/2019 12:34 PM |

The two drivers in a high-speed North Fork street race in late July pleaded guilty Friday to a pair of misdemeanor charges and were sentenced to community service. 

Gaston Castro, 35, of Flushing and Mustafa Nayci, 42, of Coram both pleaded guilty to second-degree reckless endangerment and fourth-degree reckless driving before Judge Brian Hughes Friday. They will each be required to do 280 hours of community service over the next year, or spend 60 days in jail, and they must pay nearly $1,600 in fines and fees in connection with the July 21 incident that saw them racing at speeds of more than 130 mph on Route 48 between Peconic and Mattituck.

Additional charges, including a third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle charge against Mr. Nayci, were dismissed as part of the plea agreement.

The men were spotted by a town police officer who reported seeing eight exotic sports cars traveling westbound through Peconic at around the speed limit shortly after 1:30 p.m. Sunday, July 21. The two vehicles leading the other six were a blue 2017 McLaren, allegedly driven by Mr. Nayci and a red 2016 Ferrari, allegedly driven by Mr. Castro. The officer said the vehicles slowed to roughly 25 mph soon after, driving beside each other for a time, before accelerating to speeds exceeding 130 mph, police said.

While the two men are reported to have slowed down when pursued by a police officer with lights and sirens engaged, they still maintained speeds over 100 mph. Both vehicles were witnessed crossing a red light at Depot Lane in Cutchogue at more than 80 mph and driving in the shoulder to avoid westbound traffic that was stopped at the light, according to previous reporting. Both men were again witnessed driving through a red light near Wickham Avenue.

The blue McLaren in the Southold police impound lot in July. (Credit: Mahreen Khan)

The two vehicles were found, unoccupied, on Hallock Lane Extension a short while after a witness spotted them turning off Route 48, police said.

Police dash cam footage from multiple officers was mentioned during sentencing, as the men were asked to confirm they saw the video and were understanding of the dangers they presented themselves and others. The men were in town as part of a car club ride to Shelter Island that morning.

Both men said they were alone in the vehicles at the time of the incident.

“I have kids myself,” Mr. Castro told the judge. “I’m against it … so, I apologize for that.”

Mr. Nayci, who was dressed in a dark-colored shirt that read “Pay Your Dues,” did not speak at the sentencing. 

Judge Hughes said he would begin the process of reinstating the suspended licenses and registrations for the two drivers.

Top Caption: Mr. Castro, left, and Mr. Nayci at their initial arraignment last month. (Credit: Mahreen Khan)

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