Twenty-nine people have been busted for participating in a massive heroin and oxycodone trafficking ring that distributed drugs throughout Rockland County, including out of parking lots at the Palisades Center Mall in West Nyack, authorities said Wednesday.
“Dealers in this operation are alleged to have sunk to a new low, selling prescription drugs and heroin at popular locations where parents drop off their kids to see a movie, attend a birthday party or spend time ice skating with friends,” said Rockland District Attorney Thomas Zugibe during a New City press conference where he was joined by Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara and other state and federal law enforcement officials to announce the charges.
Seventeen of the 29 people arrested were charged with federal crimes and are expected to appear before a judge in White Plains federal court later Wednesday. The other 12 cohorts were busted on related state drug charges.
The crew is alleged to have sold more than 50,000 oxycodone tablets valued at $1 million-plus, which were obtained through fraudulent prescriptions.
Besides the mall, they operated out of the Mount Ivy Trailer Park in Pomona, NY, and various Rockland motels where dealers would rent rooms to meet with customers.
Some of the gang boastfully referred to themselves on Twitter and other social media sites as the “TMC” crew, meaning “Too Much Cash.”
For example, one defendant tweeted, “Shout out my TMC bros we taking over the streets,” according to a federal indictment unsealed Wednesday.
Among those charged is the alleged ringleader, Victor Esteban, who sometimes operated out of the trailer park, and Juan Agramonte of the Bronx, who is accused of providing the heroin.
“We will not permit prescription painkillers and other illegal drugs to decimate our community, our state, or our nation,” said Bharara.