DA: Drug ring was ‘pretty sophisticated scheme’

07/01/2015 2:14 PM |
D.A. Thomas Spota at a press conference on Wednesday. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

District Attorney Thomas Spota at a press conference on Wednesday. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

District Attorney Thomas Spota revealed details of a “pretty sophisticated scheme” that included a Calverton man as the “chief reseller” on Long Island and involved shipping marijuana from farms in northern California to Suffolk County.

Eric Gomez

Eric Gomez

Calverton resident Eric Gomez was one of seven people arrested in the sting, which allegedly involved selling nearly 1,000 pounds of marijuana in a one-year span — valued at about $2.5 million — from the end of May last year to June 10, when arrests were made.

Mr. Gomez was held without bail after an indictment was unsealed on Wednesday in Suffolk County Criminal Court in Riverside. The district attorney’s office said that he has a prior conviction of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree.

Brian Poole mug

Brian Poole

According to Mr. Spota, the leader of the operation — 27-year-old Brian Poole of Bellport — met Queens man Steven Marfe in an upstate prison and the pair started hatching their plan. The district attorney said it involved placing orders in northern California and negotiating the best price they could, placing marijuana in heat-sealed bags, soaking the bags in bleach or Lysol, wrapping the bags in wrapping paper and adding dryer sheets into the packages before shipping them across country from various post offices along the California coast.

Mr. Poole allegedly had several people throughout the county who he paid to receive the packages. They would mark the boxes “return to sender” as soon as receiving them to ensure that in case an officer showed up, it would look as though it was ready to be shipped back out.

Authorities said that over $200,000 in cash proceeds from marijuana sales was seized, as well as a defaced handgun.

Mr. Gomez was charged with conspiracy 4th degree, criminal possession of marijuana 2nd degree, criminal possession of a controlled substance 7th degree, criminal possession of a controlled substance 4th degree, criminal possession of a controlled substance 3rd degree and tampering with physical evidence.

He is scheduled to be back in court on July 28.

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A backpack discovered by police had been filled with money. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

A backpack discovered by police had been filled with money. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

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