Featured Story
07/21/16 6:00am

9T5B7377

At the start of Tuesday’s press conference in Riverhead announcing the results of a major East End drug investigation, Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota stressed that the arrests that have already been made represent merely the beginning of what is to come.

Fourteen individuals were behind bars, he said, and 40 more will soon follow. (more…)

Featured Story
05/12/16 1:18pm
05/12/2016 1:18 PM

bellone

Citing a “culture of corruption,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone demanded district attorney Thomas Spota, whom he described as the head of a “criminal enterprise,” resign following the latest investigative story published by Newsday today detailing the DA’s office failure to prosecute crimes revealed on a wiretap.  READ

07/01/15 2:14pm
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. (more…)

06/17/14 4:00pm
06/17/2014 4:00 PM
Riverhead Police Chief David Hergemiller (left) joined SCDA Thomas Spota at Tuesday's press conference to unveil a plan to combact drunken drivers. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

Riverhead Police Chief David Hegermiller (left) joined SCDA Thomas Spota at Tuesday’s press conference to unveil a plan to combat drunken drivers. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

East End law enforcement agencies joined Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota Tuesday afternoon to unveil a plan to bolster sobriety checkpoints on land and at sea this summer.

The East End DWI Task Force will conduct additional checkpoints aimed at cracking down on drunken an drug impaired drivers and boaters, Mr. Spota announced during a press conference at the U.S. Coast Guard station in Hampton Bays.

(more…)

06/12/14 3:38pm
06/12/2014 3:38 PM
Police at the scene of the fatal hit and run on Route 58 near Woodcrest Avenue in  July 2013. (Credit: Paul Squire, file)

Police at the scene of the fatal hit and run on Route 58 near Woodcrest Avenue in July 2013. (Credit: Paul Squire, file)

With just five days left in the New York State Assembly session, North Fork and East End lawmakers are making a last-minute push to drum up support for bills that would increase penalties for hit-and-run drivers who flee the scene of serious accidents.

Those bills — including one co-sponsored by the North Fork’s assemblyman, Anthony Palumbo — are currently stalled in committee, where they have sat since January. The legislators say they have until Tuesday to get a bill out of the committee and onto the floor for a full Assembly vote. (more…)

02/28/14 8:00pm
02/28/2014 8:00 PM
A Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps volunteer displays the drug Narcan, which is used to treat opiate overdoses. (Credit: Paul Squire)

A Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps volunteer displays the drug Narcan, which is used to treat opiate overdoses. (Credit: Paul Squire)

Last week’s crackdown on a heroin ring brought to light a massive Harlem-to-Riverhead operation that used Route 58 as a distribution hub, but numbers provided this week by the Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s Office show that abuse of heroin is nothing new in our area.

(more…)

11/13/13 10:40pm
11/13/2013 10:40 PM
TIM GANNON FILE PHOTO | Joe Johnson (top) leaves court last year with a lawyer

TIM GANNON FILE PHOTO | Joe Johnson (top) leaves court last year with a lawyer

The Riverhead elementary school teacher arrested last year on weapons and other charges after a traffic stop in Southampton has side-stepped the gun charges, pleading guilty only to driving while intoxicated — an outcome prosecutors blamed on an illegal police search.

Joe Johnson, 40, a fourth-grade teacher at Phillips Avenue Elementary School, was arrested by Southampton Village police about 3:30 a.m. on April 21, 2012. He’s been on leave at his home ever since, pending the outcome of the criminal case, Riverhead School District officials have said.

Judge James Hudson agreed with prosecutors’ assessment of the search, which resulted in the discovery of the handgun, prosecutors said.

“After a review of the facts and circumstances of the arrest, and an analysis of applicable law relating to the police officer’s post-arrest search of the car and consequential discovery of the gun, the district attorney’s office determined it could not sustain the burden of proof necessary to establish the legality of the search,” reads a press release issued about 10:30 p.m. by Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota’s office.

Mr. Johnson, who had also been a high school basketball coach prior to his arrest, was facing multiple gun charges after police had caught him driving drunk, allegedly with an illegal loaded semi-automatic pistol in his car.

He was indicted by a grand jury in May 2012.

The top charge Mr. Johnson faced was second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a Class C violent felony punishable by up to 15 years in jail.

Mr. Johnson is due to be sentenced on the DWI charge on Jan. 8.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that town police arrested Joe Johnson in April 2012. 

Southampton Village police made the arrest.