HEMPSTEAD, NY — Ricky Jackson was sent to federal prison in Massachusetts for 20 years, but the Nassau County District Attorney said that didn’t stop Jackson from running a huge heroin/fentanyl ring based in Hempstead.
“It’s very concerning to us in law enforcement that somebody can be incarcerated in federal prison and have access to this quantity of drugs and can actually direct operations from jail," District Attorney Madeline Singas said.
Singas announced at a Wednesday press conference that the FBI, ATF agents and local police joined forces in two, simultaneous investigations into gun trafficking and drug activity based out of 100 Terrace Avenue in Hempstead.
She said the team seized more than 400 grams of drugs in the largest-ever fentanyl bust in county history.
The investigators announced 11 arrests Wednesday, including that of Angelique White, the prisoner’s girlfriend, who works as a janitor in a Hempstead school.
The DA said White was caught moving 100 grams of fentanyl during a traffic stop by police.
“They thought they were dealing heroin,” Singas said. “In fact, they were dealing fentanyl.”
The Drug Enforcement Administration says fentanyl is 50 times more powerful than heroin, and it’s behind the enormous increase in fatal opioid overdoses in the United States.
Fentanyl, sometimes sold as counterfeit painkillers, was behind the overdose deaths of music stars Mac Miller, Prince, and Tom Petty.
Singas said the amount of fentanyl seized in the Hempstead operation was enough to create 150,000 potentially fatal doses.
“That’s like a weapon of mass destruction,” Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said.
The Nassau County Police Commissioner, Patrick Ryder—who had vowed to clean up gang and gun activity in Hempstead—said, “The people on Terrace Avenue actually sent us a letter, more than 500 people signed it, thanking us.”