04/11/14 3:00pm
Cleary mug shot (Credit: Suffolk County District Attorney's Office)

Jacqueline Cleary in a mug shot following her arrest (Credit: Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office)

A Riverhead woman who allegedly sold heroin as part of a multi-million dollar, Suffolk-wide drug network has pleaded not guilty to felony conspiracy and drugs charges, court records show.

Jacqueline Cleary, 27, faces five charges for conspiracy, drugs sales and possession. She remains held in Suffolk County jail on $250,000 cash bail or $500,000 bond after her arraignment Thursday, court records show.

Ms. Cleary had been expected to be arraigned last Wednesday, but her case was adjourned, said district attorney spokesman Robert Clifford.

Her attorney could not be immediately reached for comment.

Prosecutors said Ms. Cleary picked up “52 sleeves” of heroin — branded as High Octane and sold for $10 a piece — from accused Brooklyn kingpin Miguel Vicente during the 38 days authorities were actively monitoring the operation. She then allegedly sold the drugs in the Hauppauge, Brentwood and Central Islip areas as an individual seller.

(Credit: Suffolk

(Credit: Paul Squire)

She twice sold drugs to undercover officers as part of the High Octane network — once on Feb. 6 and again on March 5, according to a criminal complaint against her.

Ms. Cleary — who was convicted of drug sales once before —  also met with Mr. Vicente and an associate of his on March 1 to settle a “narcotics transaction,” the documents state. Prosecutors said Ms. Clearly only recently moved to the Riverhead area before she was arrested.

The drug network was running for at least a year before it was busted, said District Attorney Thomas Spota. Ms. Cleary is due back in court on May 15.

psquire@timereview.com

04/04/14 4:00pm
Lonnie Hughes (center, back row) stands with some of the EMTs who saved his life at Crazy Sports Night weeks ago. (Credit: Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps)

Lonnie Hughes (center, back row) stands with some of the EMTs who saved his life at Crazy Sports Night weeks ago. (Credit: Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps)

Lonnie Hughes — the Riverhead schoolteacher who collapsed at the Crazy Sports Night event last month and was revived by quick-thinking EMTs — met with some of the volunteers who saved his life Thursday night.

Mr. Hughes went to the monthly meeting at the Riverhead ambulance barn and took photos with the people who rushed to his aid. The responders and performed CPR on him after he went into cardiac arrest.

He was then raced to the hospital for treatment.

Some of the volunteers who rescued him were not available for a photo.

04/02/14 2:31pm
Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota holds up a bag of heroin seized during a drug raid that busted an alleged heroin network. (Credit: Paul Squire)

Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota holds up a bag of heroin seized during a drug raid that busted an alleged heroin network during a press conference Wednesday morning. (Credit: Paul Squire)

A Riverhead woman is one of 14 people accused of dealing heroin in a network of drug rings that pumped about $3.6 million worth of drugs into Suffolk County, according to Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota.

“This is probably one of the most prolific operations [we] have seen in many, many a year,” Mr. Spota said at a press conference Wednesday morning. (more…)

04/01/14 4:30pm

Kenneth Belcher (left) and Willie J. Blackmon.

Two Riverhead men who police say were caught with a loaded gun after one of the pair stole a bag of Snickers candy from a Mattituck home last week remain held in Suffolk County jail, a Southold town court clerk said.

And police reports show Kenneth Belcher — the 46-year-old man accused of the alleged theft — had been arrested for carrying drugs in Riverhead days before.  (more…)

03/28/14 4:50pm

Southold police apprehend two Riverhead men on Main Road in Laurel Friday. (Credit: Michael White)

Two Riverhead men, one of whom was armed with a loaded revolver and has a long history of arrests, were apprehended in Laurel Friday morning after residents in Mattituck allegedly saw the men casing a neighborhood and trying to enter a house.

One of the men is facing a felony burglary charge after a woman said the man broke into her house and stole a bag of candy before leaving, according to a police statement.

Southold Town police outside of a Cadillac off Main Road. (Credit: Joe Werkmeister)

Police said they were called to Pacific Street about 10 a.m. when a resident reported a man who had knocked on her door moments before was looking in her neighbor’s windows and trying to open the door.

Cops searched the area, and learned that the man had gotten into one of the homes and was confronted by a woman, according to a police statement. The man — later identified by police as 46-year-old Kenneth Belcher — asked the woman for money, but she refused.

After she told him she couldn’t help him, he took a bag of Snickers candy bars and left the house.

Police located Mr. Belcher and 88-year-old Willie James Blackmon leaving the area on Main Road in Laurel and arrested them during a traffic stop, according to the report.

Police said they found the loaded gun inside the Cadillac sedan they were in.

Mr. Belcher was charged with felony burglary, two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, and criminal possession of stolen property, police said.

Mr. Blackmon was charged with one count felony criminal possession of a weapon.

Mr. Belcher had been arrested numerous times prior to Friday’s alleged incident on charges ranging from resisting arrest earlier this month to giving a false name to police to avoid getting arrested on an active warrant in 2011, according to previous News-Review articles.

The two men are being held pending arraignment in Southold Town court, according to the report.

psquire@timesreview.com

03/28/14 10:00am

Carpenters William Kaspereit and John Kern began the restoration work on the Big Duck Ranch barn Tuesday morning. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

A new museum on the grounds of Flanders’ Big Duck is soon to take flight.

After years of preparation, construction work began this week at the historic tourist attraction’s property on a barn that will house a museum devoted to Long Island’s place in duck-rearing history.

Read more on northforker.com.

03/27/14 3:37pm
(Credit: Riverhead Town police)

(Credit: Riverhead Town police)

A Riverhead man accused of robbing a downtown bank recently was arraigned on Thursday afternoon and remains held on a lowered bail in Suffolk County Court, while his wife was on hand to support him.

Robert Santoro, 46, pleaded not guilty to charges of felony robbery and misdemeanor petit larceny. 

(more…)

03/26/14 3:15pm
Firefighters battle a brush fire near Grumman Boulevard Wednesday afternoon (Credit: Joseph Pinciaro)

Firefighters battle a brush fire near Grumman Boulevard Wednesday afternoon (Credit: Joseph Pinciaro)

Firefighters from the Riverhead, Wading River and Manorville Fire Departments have been battling brush fires throughout the area Wednesday as ideal fire weather conditions and high winds sweep over Long Island.

The National Weather Service has warned that while Tuesday night’s strong coastal storm missed the East End, winds of 20-30 miles per hour with gusts up to 50 mph will persist through the evening.  (more…)