Smithtown, NY (SmithtownRadio.com) – Drug dealers from Smithtown and Kings Park were among 23 arrested in what Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota is calling “one of the largest herion busts in the county.”
Richard Balanda, 29, of 122 Brooksite Drive, was charged with second degree conspiracy for allegedly selling heroin.
Also arrested, Michelle Mehling, 22, of Kings Park, who is facing the same charge. Mehling graduated from Kings Park High School in 2007.
Spota made the announcement during a press conference in Hauppauge Tuesday. He says the ring sold 15,000 bags of herion a week between Suffolk and Queens.
Prosecutor Beth Creighton credits the ring with raising the street value of the drug from $100 for 10 bags to nearly $150 for the same quantity, reports Newsday.
The fear of herion and other drugs in the Smithtown community is nothing new. Smithtown schools and superintendent Ed Ehmann uses programs like Parent University to bring together parents and drug experts. The district began the innovative several years ago as the community became more concerned about the use of herion in Smithtown.
Charged with operating as a major drug trafficker, a class A felony with a penalty of 25 years to life in prison.
Carlos Melendez, 32, of the Bronx
Joel Guzman, 27, of Queens
Ricardo Rifino, 29, of Sayville
Frank Conte, of the Bronx, who was out on $1 million bail while awaiting trail in a 2007 slaying of a Bronx bartender
Also charged, as conspirators:
Jeremy Guzman, 29, of Queens
Michelle Mehling, 22, of Kings Park
Matthew Capozello, 29, of Selden
Ryan Walsh, 27, of Hampton Bays
John Crowley, 50, of Centereach
Anthony Stelluto, 36, of Williston Park
Elizabeth Zapata, 29, of the Bronx
Nicole Albrecht, 27, of Sayville
Ruben Torres, 24, of Brentwood
Paul Ferry, 29, of East Islip
Kenneth Plass, 33, of Centereach
Craig Kellaher, 40, of Selden
Neil Varma, 26, of the Bronx
Jason Siani, 24, of Sayville
Jason Grzymalski, 31, of Holtsville
William Wisnieski, 27, of Holtsville
Daniel Eagan, 48, of Huntington
Michael Jankite, 29, of Brentwood
Richard Balanda, 28, of Smithtown