Reputed gang members from the East End were among 12 suspects busted in an alleged drug-dealing ring that sold $75,000 worth of crack and cocaine per month, Suffolk County prosecutors said.
The accused ringleader, 35-year-old Deris “Derry” Denilo Matamoros Alvarado of Riverhead, was charged with operating as a major trafficker, criminal sale of a controlled substance, conspiracy, and other charges. He and some of the other suspects facing related charges are members of the 18th Street gang, a rival of MS-13, authorities said.
“They were selling in front of retail establishments and in public areas, and the people selling those drugs were dangerous gang members,” said Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini, adding that the gang was ‘terrorizing the community.”
The East End Drug Task Force investigation began in July 2020 and involved the use of undercover officers, roving surveillance, electronic surveillance, and court-authorized eavesdropping. Investigators found the suspects dealt to hundreds of buyers in Riverhead, the Hamptons and in the Town of Brookhaven. When investigators executed search warrants at seven locations Friday, they seized about a half a kilogram of powder cocaine, 50 ecstasy pills, seven grams of methamphetamine, a .38 revolver handgun, and $70,000 in cash.
The suspects pleaded not guilty at Suffolk County court Friday and those facing the most serious charges could be sentenced to up to 25 years in prison, if convicted.
“This case, once again, underscores the persistence of dangerous drug traffickers in our area and the need for coordinated law enforcement action to stop them,” Southampton Town Police Chief Steven Skrynecki said. “These defendants put our residents at high risk through the deadly products they peddle.”