A group of men were arrested on felony charges over the past week for allegedly running a drug trafficking ring in Long Beach, including one with ties to an alleged Latin Kings gang member, Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said.
In a news release, Singas said that five men were nabbed following a 14-month investigation dubbed ‘Operation Beech Sweep,’ a joint effort with the D.A.’s office and Nassau County, Freeport and Long Beach police departments into a drug ring that operated primarily along Beech Street in Long Beach for several years selling heroin, crack-cocaine, cocaine, Oxycodone pills and Xanax “to dozens of local users.”
“These defendants allegedly poisoned our communities by buying and selling staggering amounts of drugs for many years,” Singas said in a statement. “With the help of the Nassau County Police Department, the Long Beach Police Department, and the Freeport Police Department, the D.A. squad was able to make a significant dent in the flow of drugs into Long Beach and surrounding communities. My office remains laser-focused on dismantling the drug trafficking networks that are fueling Long Island’s opioid epidemic.”
According to Singas, the alleged ringleader of the group, 49-year-old Robert Gause, of Atlantic Beach, allegedly received crack/cocaine, and cocaine from Inwood resident Carlos Andujar, believed to be a member of Latin Kings.
Gause is accused of then supplying the drugs to Long Beach residents Rodney Coward, 43, Ronnie Sutton, 45, and Harold Chestnut, 59, who allegedly sold to dozens of local users in Long Beach, Inwood, and Atlantic Beach. Gause also allegedly had connections to buy and then resell heroin, oxycodone pills, and Xanax.
To date, more than half a kilogram of drugs and more than 100 pills have been recovered, Singas said. Additionally, during the execution of a search warrant, a loaded .357 Magnum revolver and a shotgun were allegedly found inside Sutton’s home.
Gause was arraigned in Nassau County District Court on Nov. 1 before Judge Maxine Broderick and charged with second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Bail was set at $50,000 bond or $25,000 cash, and he is due back in court Nov. 5. He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison if convicted.
Andujar was arraigned Nov. 3 before Judge Paul Meli and charged with first-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance. Bail was set at $200,000 bond or $200,000 cash. He is due back in court Nov. 13 and faces a maximum of 24 years in prison.
Coward was arraigned on Nov. 7 before Judge Eileen Goggin and charged with second-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance. Bail was set at $2 million bond or $1 million cash. He was due back in court Nov. 9 and faces a maximum of 14 years in prison.
Sutton was arraigned Nov. 3 before Judge Meli and charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Bail was set at $250,000 bond or $250,000 cash. He is due back in court Nov. 28 and faces a maximum of 10 years in prison.
Chestnut was arraigned Nov. 2 before Judge Broderick and charged with second-degree conspiracy. Bail was set at $40,000 bond or $20,000 cash. He is due back in court on Nov. 20 and faces a maximum of nine years in prison.