NJ CO among 5 charged in 'enormous' multi-million dollar drug ring
Investigators seized more than $1.5 million in cash, 16 kg of cocaine, 2 kg of heroin, about 4,000 oxycodone pills and nine firearms
By Noah Cohen
NJ Advance Media Group
SUFFOLK COUNTY, N.J. — A New Jersey state corrections officer was among five men charged in a multi-million dollar, coast-to-coast drug trafficking ring that was foiled in New York, authorities said Monday.
Investigators seized more than $1.5 million in cash, 16 kilograms of cocaine, 2 kilograms of heroin, about 4,000 oxycodone pills and nine firearms in the takedown of the Long Island-based narcotics trafficking operation, according to officials in Suffolk County, New York.
“The magnitude of this drug distribution ring is enormous; they were responsible for peddling millions of dollars in narcotics on an almost weekly basis,” Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini said. “Not only did this organization continue their illicit operation during the coronavirus pandemic, they were also exploiting the limited availability of certain narcotics during the health crisis to generate even greater profits off their sales.”
New Jersey Department of Corrections Officer Anthony Cyntje was charged with conspiracy and criminal possession of a controlled substance, authorities said. The 22-year-old Passaic resident was released after being arraigned. Public records show Cyntje has been an officer for less than a year.
Another Passaic man, 33-year-old Dashawn Jones was charged with conspiracy, operating as a major trafficker and drug possession, according to officials. Jones was ordered held on $2.5 million bail.
Members of the ring would purchase drugs on the West Coast and transport the illicit substances back to Suffolk County using methods including cross-country drives, by air travel and the mail, authorities said. The network allegedly received almost $2.1 million worth of drugs a week.
Suffolk County authorities, joined by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), launched an investigation in May 2019 into drug dealing by James Sosa, 25, of Wading River, Brian Sullivan, 24, of Lake Grove and their associates, according to the DA’s office. The New York duo also face charges of operating as major traffickers.
“Allegedly, the Sosa organization’s operation was a major drug supplier for Long Island and the tri-state area; and by seizing 9 guns and millions of dollars’ worth of illicit narcotics law enforcement is saving lives,” said Ray Donovan, special agent in charge of the DEA’s New York division.
Representatives from the Department of Corrections did not immediately return a message about Cyntje.
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