Eight More Sought Following Drug Bust
As a Suffolk County Grand Jury indicted four of the alleged leaders of what authorities describe as a major drug ring that was in part broken up by two arrests in Melville, authorities continued to search for eight other alleged co-conspirators.
Five men are accused of conspiring with Johnny Gonzalez, Richard Murillo, Joselito Colon and Michael Meurer to distribute cocaine over a two-month span from June 24-Aug. 20, according to the indictment, which was unsealed in court Sept. 4.
Three others are also wanted for allegedly conspiring with Meurer and Colon to sell marijuana during the same time period. Two of the alleged co-conspirators also face weapons charges.
None of the eight co-conspirators had been arrested as of press time Monday.
Police arrested the four alleged ring leaders on Aug. 20; Meurer and Colon were arrested in Melville. According to published reports, Assistant District Attorney Dina Cangero said in Suffolk County Court Wednesday that Meurer and Colon were in possession of a half-kilo of cocaine when they were arrested in the same car on the South Service Road in Melville Aug. 20.
Meurer and Gonzalez face the stiffest charges in the case. They were indicted last week on charges of operating as a major drug trafficker and criminal sale of a controlled substance and conspiracy; each could face life in prison on the major trafficker counts. Murillo and Colon face charges of criminal sale and possession of a controlled substance and conspiracy charges.
According to published reports, Cangero added that Colon was Meurer’s most trusted associate in the ring and was with him every time he met with Gonzalez, who allegedly served as the ring’s supplier. The ring sold a kilo of cocaine, with a street value of more than $100,000, every seven to 10 days, the assistant district attorney added.
The four arrests followed an investigation that intensified in June after the DA’s office got the go-ahead to conduct surveillance on the four suspects’ telephones, which the DA said revealed the extent of the operation. Officials said they intercepted more than 1,000 phone calls from Meurer, which they say contained Meurer “speaking in detail and with intent of distributing these dangerous narcotics.”
Authorities say the four arrests on Aug. 20 broke up a drug ring that supplied hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of cocaine and marijuana to Suffolk County.
Gonzalez was initially held on $2 million cash bail, while Meurer was held on $2 million cash bail or $1 million bond. Murillo and Colon were each held on $1.5 million cash or bond.