Police arrested and charged nine individuals as part of a major heroin bust in Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island that saw authorities recover tens of thousands of dollars, over a pound of narcotics and six guns. Among those arrested were Dixon Mercado, 42, and Brandon Alvarez, 20 and Kimberly Wong, 32, all of Ridgewood.
“There’s a growing heroin epidemic spreading throughout our city and country that’s destroying lives and families,” said Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson. “This is the second heroin distribution operation that we dismantled in recent months and we intend to continue to do our part to save lives by taking down anyone who deals heroin in Brooklyn.”
According to the New York State Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the suspected drug dealers conducted transactions at several exits along the Long Island Expressway.
The ringleader was identified as Mohamed Chaaibi, 27, of Glendale. The DEA alleges that he supplied the heroin and coordinated all the transactions, in Brooklyn and elsewhere, by taking calls from buyers and sending couriers to prearranged locations where sales were conducted, according to a release.
“Chaaibi used legitimate business marketing for illegitimate drug sales,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge James Hunt. “By branding his cut of heroin ‘Two-Way,’ he attracted and retained customers; some who drove far distances in order to purchase his product in bulk for resale on the street.”
Mercado and Alvarez allegedly acted as runners or couriers who supplied heroin to other named defendants who then re-sold it to their own customers. Wong, according to a release, is a realtor who allegedly helped Chaaibi with proceeds of narcotic sales, assisted him in finding cheap properties for rent and kept a stash of heroin in her residence to use when his runners ran low. Marius Kaczmarczyk, 39, of Maspeth, Queens is allegedly a heroin user who would test the product for Chaaibi and report back his findings.
All nine defendants, according to the release, are variously charged in a 281-count indictment with second-degree conspiracy, second- and third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, third-, fourth- and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, second- and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, criminal possession of a firearm and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. Chaaibi is additionally charged with operating as a major trafficker.