01/28/16 5:57am

250 packets of heroin recovered from Thomas Counihan's home

A scene from early in the first season of the acclaimed HBO series “The Wire” dealt with Baltimore’s drug trade and how the system — including law enforcement, schools, government and the media — had failed that city.

A detective on the show makes an offhand comment about how they’re fighting the “war on drugs.”

“You can’t even call this a war,” his partner responds. “Wars end.” READ

03/16/15 2:53pm
03/16/2015 2:53 PM

An expired registration sticker led to the eventual arrest of an East Setauket man after police found bags of heroin in his car Friday in Riverside, Southampton Town police said.

Christopher Bonafe, 33, of Arrowhead Lane was stopped by police on County Road 94 about 1 p.m. for having an expired registration sticker on his car. 

During the stop, an officer noticed a bag containing heroin in plain view on the driver’s side floorboard of the vehicle, police said.

A search of the car then turned up other bags of heroin, found throughout the vehicle, and Mr. Bonafe had a pen in his pocket that contained heroin residue, police said.

He also had a suspended driver’s license.

Mr. Bonafe was charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation and unregistered motor vehicle, according to police.

11/11/14 7:25am
11/11/2014 7:25 AM

A Middle Island man was arrested on a drug charge early this morning after police said he was pulled over while driving on Flanders Road in Riverside.

According to Southampton Police, 33-year-old Sean Harney was driving around 2:45 a.m. when police pulled him over for a traffic infraction. Police reportedly found that he was in possession of heroin soon after.

He was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, and processed and released on bail for a future appearance date.

11/10/14 11:30am
11/10/2014 11:30 AM
Baggies of Hollywood-branded heroin seized by the East End Drugs Task Force during an investigation into a Riverhead drug ring. (Credit: Paul Squire file)

Baggies of Hollywood-branded heroin seized by the East End Drugs Task Force during an investigation into a Riverhead drug ring. (Credit: Paul Squire file)

Tuition and books will be cheaper over the next three years at Suffolk County Community College for students looking to study drug and alcohol counseling.

SCCC recently received nearly $850,000 from the federal government to go toward its Chemical Dependence Counseling program, which “prepares students for employment or advancement in the field of chemical dependency counseling.” (more…)

06/26/14 2:25pm
06/26/2014 2:25 PM
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signs legislation on Monday at the University of Binghampton related to tightening controls on heroin. (Credit: Office of Gov.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signs legislation on Monday at the University of Binghampton related to tightening controls on heroin. (Credit: Office of Gov.

“They say in drug abuse treatment, the first step is to admit the reality, right?” Gov. Andrew Cuomo asked last week. “We should not deny the problem we currently have with heroin.”

Legislation to combat the growing epidemic of heroin and opioid use — a problem that has reached the East End in recent years — was considered the “top priority” in Albany last week as the state legislative session came to a close, and Mr. Cuomo touted a package of 11 separate bills designed to address “the problem” from all angles.

Calling the epidemic a “public health crisis,” the governor unveiled legislation June 18 that was designed with four particular goals in mind: assisting enforcement against illegal trafficking of such drugs, helping with emergency response in overdose situations, improving treatment options for individuals suffering from heroin and opioid addiction through insurance reforms and creating public awareness campaigns with reach to school-age children, adults and even prescribers, who are the legal gatekeepers to opioid drugs.

“I believe that this is a comprehensive approach. It has a public safety component, has a public health component and also has a public awareness campaign,” he said during a press conference about the bills, flanked by leaders of both legislative houses, as well as the state’s health commissioner.

The 11 bills were passed unanimously June 19 and were signed into law Monday during a press conference at Binghamton University. The governor said funding for all of the measures and other treatment services would be addressed in the next budget cycle.

At the same time, Mr. Cuomo announced plans to hire 100 additional experienced investigators for the State Police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team.

Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota has already asked that some of these new hires be placed with the East End Drug Task Force, a multi-jurisdictional unit that investigates drug activity in the area.

In a letter to Mr. Cuomo requesting additional police resources, Mr. Spota called Suffolk County “ground zero in this crisis.”

According to data released in February by Dr. Michael Lehrer, chief toxicologist with the Suffolk County medical examiner’s office, heroin-related deaths have increased countywide by almost 300 percent in the past four years — from 28 in 2010 to 64 in 2011 and 83 in 2012, with at least 82 deaths reported in 2013.