NEW YORK — A suspected drug ring that sold opioids in Staten Island, hard hit by the heroin epidemic, has been busted with the arrests of nine individuals in New York and Arizona, federal authorities said Wednesday.
Eight individuals were arrested in Staten Island and Brooklyn, and another was arrested in Arizona. They’re accused of selling heroin and oxycodone in Staten Island between September 2016 and January 2017, according to the U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of New York.
“These defendants allegedly pushed heroin and oxycodone for months, contributing to the opioid plague that has caused great suffering on Staten Island,” U.S. Attorney Robert L. Capers said.
Last fall, nine people died in 10 days from heroin use in Staten Island. Those deaths were blamed on a stronger variety of heroin that was circulating the borough, Staten Island District Attorney Michael McMahon said at the time.
Experts said the heroin crisis gripping communities across the nation can be traced back to prescription opioids that lead to abuse, with its users advancing to stronger versions of the drugs, like heroin and and fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid that is 30 to 50 times stronger than heroin and that caused Prince’s 2016 death.
Authorities said the drug ring that was busted in this week’s arrests is contributing to that fatal trend.
If convicted on the most serious charge, the defendants face up to 20 years in prison. This is the full list of suspects, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office:
- Michael Calabria, 49, of Staten Island
- Joseph Calabria, 52, of Staten Island
- Stephen Delpriore, 55, of Staten Island
- Ugo Gallo, 46, of Staten Island
- Carol Monforte, 57, of Staten Island (Arrested in Arizona)
- Vincent Maniscalco, 55, of Staten Island
- Glenn Depaolo, 59, of Staten Island
- Maria Depaolo, 55, of Staten Island