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Authorities announced a major drug takedown on Long Island. Cocaine, crack, heroin – and some of it was being packed up feet from playing children at day care. CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff reports.
DANA TYLER: We begin tonight with a bust in a major drug operation on Long Island. Dozens of people have been arrested on trafficking charges. Search warrants uncover cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl, with a street value of nearly $3 million. Also, dozens of firearms, including assault rifles and ammunition were seized, as well as hundreds of thousands of in cash. CBS2's Caroline Gusoff has the story, new tonight at 6:00.
CAROLYN GUSOFF: Inside this Pierson Avenue Hempstead home, what appears to be a fully functional illegal daycare center. But prosecutors say the crimes didn't stop there. Cocaine was being packaged as part of a massive drug ring.
MADELINE SINGAS: Parents trying to work through the pandemic left their children at a daycare and this is what their kids were exposed to. It's horrifying to me as a parent and as the district attorney.
CAROLYN GUSOFF: Nassau DA Madeline Singas says an 18-month investigation involved the Postal Service, ATF, the FBI, and state police.
CHRISTOPHER CASALE: It's just completely despicable of them to even do that with children around. A granule size amount of fentanyl can kill you.
CAROLYN GUSOFF: The investigation launched after an uptick in violent crime in the village of Hempstead. Wiretaps led to 40 people now indicted-- among them, nine alleged kingpins. 38 illegal guns, some of them assault rifles, and 20 pounds of cocaine and heroin-- some of it stored at this Frasier Street house, called the "honeycomb" in wiretaps. A sweet deal for drug dealers through the pandemic, accused of nearly doubling prices amid a frenzy in demand.
MADELINE SINGAS: People were struggling. People are still struggling. Their access to services was limited. So, as a result, these people took advantage of that, drug prices soared.
CAROLYN GUSOFF: A second daycare in Rosedale, Queens, also allegedly used. Neighbors told us they had no idea. Community leaders are hoping it's a heavy blow to a thriving drug business.
ERIC MURRAY: We took down some very significant players as far as criminal activity.
CAROLYN GUSOFF: Prosecutors say the cocaine was at times cut with fentanyl at a time fatal overdoses are spiking up 30% in Nassau County. They say the drugs are connected to at least one fatal overdose and they are investigating others.
In Mineola, Long Island, Carolyn Gusoff, CBS 2 News.