DA SINI & DA’S HEROIN TASK FORCE: RONKONKOMA COUPLE INDICTED FOR AN ALLEGED MAJOR CRACK & POWDER COCAINE TRAFFICKING OPERATION
Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy D. Sini and the District Attorney’s Heroin Task Force today announced the indictment of a Ronkonkoma couple for an alleged major crack cocaine and powder cocaine trafficking operation on Long Island.
“These defendants are each charged with a top count of Operating as a Major Trafficker, which is a serious charge for serious drug traffickers,” District Attorney Sini said. “They used the profits of their alleged drug trafficking operation to fund a lavish lifestyle, including high-end vehicles, designer clothing and shoes, and expensive jewelry. This was a lucrative business for the pair, but it has been effectively shut down because of the great work of law enforcement. My Office is continuing to target drug dealers who are causing overdoses as well as major drug trafficking operations here in Suffolk County, and we will hold these individuals accountable.”
Kobaski Claros, 31, of Ronkonkoma, is charged with Operating as a Major Trafficker, a class A-I felony; Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree, a class A felony; four counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, a class B felony; five counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, a class B felony; Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree, a class A misdemeanor; and three counts of Criminally Using Drug Paraphernalia in the Second Degree, a class A misdemeanor.
Maria Rivera, 24, of Ronkonkoma, is charged with Operating as a Major Trafficker, a class A-I felony; Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree, a class A felony; two counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, a class B felony; three counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, a class B felony; Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree, a class A misdemeanor; and three counts of Criminally Using Drug Paraphernalia in the Second Degree, a class A misdemeanor.
The Heroin Task Force began an investigation into alleged drug dealing by Claros and Rivera in March after law enforcement observed Claros conduct a drug sale on a side street near the Red Lobster located on Express Drive South in Ronkonkoma.
The investigation revealed that Claros and Rivera allegedly conducted a major drug trafficking operation in Suffolk County, predominantly in and around the Ronkonkoma area, in which they sold crack cocaine and powder cocaine. The defendants allegedly conducted the sales out of high-end vehicles, including a Land Rover and a Mercedes-Benz.
Pursuant to the investigation, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Claros and Rivera’s apartment, located on the 3400 block of Mill Road in Ronkonkoma, on Aug. 26, which resulted in the recovery of 1.5 kilograms of cocaine, $13,781 cash, a kilo press, four digital scales, cutting agents, plastic bags, a heat sealer, a stun gun, and a large quantity of luxury jewelry and accessories.
Claros was arraigned on the indictment today before Suffolk County Supreme Court Justice Richard Ambro and bail was set at $1 million cash, $3 million bond, or $5 million partially-secured bond. He is being represented by George Duncan and is due back in court on Oct. 18. Rivera was arraigned on the indictment on Sept. 9 and bail was set at $500,000 cash, $2 million bond or $4 million partially-secured bond. She is being represented by Del Atwell and is due back in court on Oct. 1.
If convicted of the top count, Claros and Rivera each face a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Emma Pearce, of the Narcotics Bureau.
The Suffolk County District Attorney’s Heroin Task Force comprises law enforcement officers from the District Attorney’s Office, Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office, Suffolk County Police Department and Northport Police Department.
“This was a major cocaine operation, and with the arrest and indictment of Claros and Rivera, Suffolk County residents can rest assured these callous defendants will no longer be roving around Ronkonkoma selling poison from their luxury cars paid for with drug money,” Suffolk County Sheriff Dr. Errol Toulon Jr. said. “I want to thank the District Attorney and his staff, along with the county’s deputy sheriffs, police, and other members of law enforcement for their unyielding investigative work to put these people where they belong: behind bars.”
“These arrests demonstrate the Suffolk County Police Department’s dedication to fighting the drug epidemic head on, targeting criminals who are willing to risk the lives of Suffolk County residents by feeding their addictions,” Suffolk County Police Acting Commissioner Stuart Cameron said. “I commend all involved in apprehending these drug traffickers and bringing them to justice.”
A criminal charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.