By Connor Beach
The Suffolk County district attorney’s office announced last week a 47-count indictment against three Huntington Station residents for running an alleged cocaine distribution ring.
Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy D. Sini, with help from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Suffolk County Police Department, released a 22-page grand jury indictment against Adrian Bonilla, Neftali Camacho Hernandez and Jennifer Perez Cordero for trafficking cocaine in Huntington Station.
Bonilla, 40, faces seven charges including operating as a major trafficker and first-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, both A-1 felonies.
Cordero, 28, is also charged with A-1 felony first-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, as well as two other felonies and three misdemeanors.
Hernandez, 27, faces over 30 charges including 19 counts of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance.
“This indictment should serve as a warning to drug dealers who operate in Suffolk County that law enforcement is coming for you,” Sini said.
Police began investigating the suspected drug ring in April 2017, according to the district attorney’s office.
The indictment alleges Bonilla supplied crack and powder cocaine to Hernandez for resale in Huntington Station, while Cordero is involved in the packaging and distribution of narcotics, according to the district attorney’s office.
Bonilla and Hernandez, who the district attorney’s office said are members of the Latin Kings gang, sold approximately 650 one-half gram bags of cocaine a month during the time they were under investigation, according to the district attorney’s office. At $50 per one-half gram bag of cocaine, they were making approximately $32,500 per month in drug sales, the DA said.
Acting DEA Special Agent in Charge Keith Kruskall said investigators used electronic surveillance, physical surveillance and undercover officers to collect evidence of the cocaine ring.
“An eighteen-month investigation led to the dismantlement of a drug ring in Huntington Station,” Kruskall said. “Working undercover, agents and officers seized thousands of individual doses as well as a bulk amount of cocaine.”
The district attorney’s office said law enforcement officers searched three locations “affiliated with the defendants” on Nov. 2 and found one kilogram of cocaine, 18 grams of crack cocaine, approximately $66,207 cash, packaging materials and digital scales.
All three defendants were arraigned Nov. 14 in front of Suffolk County Supreme Court Justice Martin Efman. If convicted, Bonilla and Cordero face a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison, while Hernandez faces a maximum sentence of eight and one-third to 25 years in prison.
Huntington-based attorney John LoTurco, who is representing Bonilla, called the indictment against Bonilla “overzealous and overaggressive,” adding that Bonilla was not living in the residence where law enforcement found evidence of drug trafficking.
“We intend to vigorously defend these charges,” LoTurco said. “We contend that the prosecution is based upon Mr. Bonilla’s past history rather than the present facts of the investigation.”
Bohemia-based attorney Harry Tilis, who is representing Hernandez, and Islip Terrace-based attorney George Duncan, who is representing Cordero, did not return requests for comment before press time.
Bonilla, Cordero and Hernandez are all due back in court on Dec. 12.