A sweeping drug trafficking operation across Long Island’s South Shore was disrupted after a nine-month investigation by the Drug Enforcement Agency and Nassau County District Attorney’s office, resulting in 12 indictments, DA Anne Donnelly said on Thursday, Sept. 14.
More than eight pounds of cocaine and half a kilogram of fentanyl were seized during the nine-month investigation that spanned multiple communities along Nassau’s South Shore. Officials also recovered an assault weapon, a ghost gun and multiple high-capacity magazines.
“As alleged in the indictment, this trafficking ring sold poison in the form of crack, cocaine and fentanyl, all along the South Shore of Long Island,” Donnelly said in a release.
The investigation began in October 2022 and included homes on North Montgomery Street in Valley Stream, Derrick Adkins Lane in West Hempstead, Adams Street in Baldwin, and Azalea Court in Long Beach.
Donnelly in a release said 47-year-old Christopher Corley of Valley Stream was charged with operating as a major trafficker and conspiracy, along with multiple felony drug charges. He pleaded not guilty before Nassau County Judge Meryl Berkowtiz on Sept. 13.
Officials said they found a narcotics kilogram press used to make bricks of cocaine at Corley’s home, and stamps with the Yingyang symbol and a “Transformers” head. Officials said drugs were sold in Nassau and Suffolk counties.
An online public notice from the Drug Enforcement Agency dated Sept. 15 identifies assorted jewelry and cash seized from Corley and others at being valued at about $100,000. One piece of jewelry is described as a 14 caret yellow gold pendant dog tag with 252 diamonds. Another is listed as a 14 caret yellow gold diamond band with 440 diamonds.
Malverne High School football coach Kito Lockwood, 49, of West Hempstead, pleaded not guilty to three counts of criminal possession of a firearm and three counts of criminal possession of a weapon. A rally in support of Lockwood is planned for Friday, Sept. 22. Many community leaders have stood by Lockwood, according to his lawyer and former coach Frederick Brewington.
Brewington said Lockwood was in “the wrong place at the wrong time” when he spent the night at a friend’s house after watching a basketball game and having “a few drinks”. Brewington said Lockwood had no idea there were drugs or weapons in the house.
“The indictment of 12 defendants in this drug trafficking operation along the South Shore of Nassau County is a clear example of numerous law enforcement agencies working together to bring these individuals to justice,” said Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder in a release. “Our communities are safer today with these individuals removed from our neighborhoods, as numerous firearms and large quantities of drugs have been seized.”
Officials said they conducted months of surveillance throughout Nassau and were granted warrants for electronic eavesdropping. Recorded conversations allegedly revealed Corley talking about making crack, “chopping up drugs,” and making deliveries of drugs with Clifford Nealy, 47, of West Hempstead, and James Anthony Alexander, 48, of Baldwin.
The indictments include:
All 12 defendants pleaded not guilty and are due back in court on Oct. 26.
Lopez is a former star basketball player who graduated from Malverne in 2005. In an email, a district spokesperson said Lopez had been a volunteer coach at the high school.