Tags Posts tagged with "Drugs"

Drugs

Son of a gun
A 56-year-old woman from Huntington was arrested on May 22 after police said he had an illegal hand gun in his possession while at his residence on Dunbarton Drive in Huntington. He was charged with criminal possession of a firearm.

Stop and Smoke
On May 21, a 46-year-old woman from Babylon was arrested after police said she was in possession of marijuana and cocaine while in the parking lot of Stop&Shop on East Jericho Turnpike in Huntington. She was charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of marijuana.

Drug bust
Police said 31-year-old woman from Bethpage had Suboxone, a prescription drug, while on Derby Avenue and Rockne Street in Huntington at 10:40 p.m. on May 21. She was arrested and charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Being a pain with cocaine
On May 21, a 51-year-old man from East Northport was arrested on Veterans Memorial Highway in Smithtown after police said he had cocaine on him at 9:10 p.m. He was charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance with the intent to sell.

Tree on Maple Lane
A 35-year-old man from Huntington Station was arrested on May 20 after police said he had marijuana in his possession on Maple Lane and Pinta Court in East Northport. He was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana.

Down by the docks
A 20-year-old man and a 18-year-old man both from Huntington Station were arrested on May 20 after police said they damaged and stole from multiple boats docked in Huntington Harbor between May 17 and May 20. They were charged with second-degree criminal mischief, petit larceny and two charges of third-degree criminal mischief of property valuing more than $250.

Coffee rush
On May 19, a 31-year-old man from Huntington Station was arrested after police said he stole two cappuccino machines valuing more than $7,000 from Bed Bath and Beyond on Walt Whitman Road in Huntington. He was charged with third-degree grand larceny.

The route of the problem
Police said a 28-year-old man from Orlando was smoking a marijuana cigarette while on Route 25 in Huntington Station on May 19. He was charged with fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Not walk in the park
A 40-year-old man from Wyandanch was arrested on May 18 after police said he had crack cocaine on him while on Park Avenue in Huntington. He was charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Plants plucked
Police said an unknown person stole plants planted in the ground in the front yard of a residence on Leonard Drive in East Northport on May 21.

Not the key to success
An unknown person keyed a phrase onto the side passenger door of a 2003 Jaguar parked on Sandpiper Lane in Fort Salonga on May 22.

Too many cocktails
A 22-year-old man from Hauppauge was arrested on May 21 after police pulled him over for running a red light while driving a 2013 Mitsubishi on Route 347 in Smithtown and said he was driving drunk. He was charged with driving while ability impaired by alcohol and drugs.

Being a pain with cocaine
On May 21, a 51-year-old man from East Northport was arrested on Veterans Memorial Highway in Smithtown after police said he had cocaine on him at 9:10 p.m. He was charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance with the intent to sell.

Cocaine in Kings Park
On May 20, police on Indian Head Road in Kings Park arrested a 36-year-old man from Port Jefferson after they said he had cocaine in his possession. He was charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

That’s not what BMWs are for
Police said a 30-year-old man from Miller Place was deliberately using his 2015 BMW to block a tow truck from reaching two cars that crashed into each other on Smithtown Boulevard, and then started yelling at officers on May 20. He was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct with violent behavior.

On another planet
A 19-year-old man from Ronkonkoma was arrested on May 19 at Richard Avenue and Express Drive North in Ronkonkoma after police said he had marijuana on him while inside a 1993 Mercury. He was charged with fifth-degree criminal possession of marijuana.

Making her blush
On May 18, a 21-year-old woman from Saint James was arrested after police said she stole cosmetics from Sephora at the Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove. She was charged with petit larceny.

That’s not my name
On May 18, Police arrested a 51-year-old woman from Commack after they said she filled out paperwork with someone else’s information at the Department of Motor Vehicles in Medford. She was charged with first-degree offering a false instrument for filing.

Heroin in a Honda
A 26-year-old woman from Centereach was arrested on May 18 after police said she had heroin on her while driving a 2004 Honda on Cheryl Drive in Ronkonkoma. She was charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Not so fast
On May 18, a 42-year-old man from Kings Park was arrested after police said he rear-ended a 2015 Ford van on Route 110 while driving a 2004 Honda, and then fled the scene. He was charged with leaving the scene of an accident with property damage.

Goodbye
Police said an unknown person stole a phone from a 2005 Honda Accord parked at the Stonebridge Golf Links & Country Club in Smithtown on May 21.

Slash and Dash
On May 21, an unknown person slashed two tires on a 2015 Hyundai parked in the Fairfield apartment complex in Commack.

Pool hoppers
Police said someone damaged the pool liner of a pool at a residence on Colgate Drive in St. James on May 21.

You’ve got no mail
On May 21, an unknown person stole a mailbox from a residence on Hoffman Lane in Hauppauge.

Lego my Legos
At Toys “R” Us on Middle Country Road in Lake Grove, an unknown person stole five Lego sets on May 19.

Hopeless house
A 75-year-old man from Mount Sinai entered Hope House Ministries on High Street in Port Jefferson on May 20 and remained there to sleep in the lobby, according to police. He was arrested and charged with third-degree criminal trespassing.

Did I hit something back there?
At about 5:30 p.m. on May 19, a 23-year-old man from East Patchogue driving a Lincoln Aviator on Route 25A in Mount Sinai collided with an unoccupied 2007 GMC parked near the intersection of Chestnut Street and fled the scene, police said. He was arrested and charged with leaving the scene of an incident with property damage.

Pot possession
On May 18 at about 1 p.m., a 28-year-old man from Mount Sinai seated in the driver’s seat of a 1997 Nissan on North Ocean Avenue was found to have marijuana, according to police. He was arrested and charged with unlawful possession.

Not on probation anymore
A 42-year-old man from Selden was arrested near a home on the corner of College Road and Linden Street at about 2 a.m. on May 19 for violating the conditions of his probation, police said.

Go to sleep
Near the corner of Belford Lane and Stuyvesant Drive in Selden at about 3:30 a.m. on May 19, police said a 49-year-old man driving a 2001 Toyota was pulled over. He was arrested and charged with third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle with a suspended license.

Pay your own bills
A 41-year-old man from East Islip paid three different bills, including a LIPA utility bill and an American Express credit card bill, using someone else’s stolen account information from his home on Sherry Street at about noon on Jan. 21, police said. He was arrested on May 18 in Selden and charged with two counts of first-degree identity theft and one count of second-degree identity theft.

Gadgets stolen from CVS
On April 8 at about 12:30 p.m., a 24-year-old woman from Medford stole a polarized digital camera and two Garmin GPS devices from CVS Pharmacy on Horseblock Road in Medford, according to police. She was arrested on May 18 in Selden and charged with petit larceny.

Stolen ATV recovered
A 16-year-old from Farmingville was found to possess a 2013 Honda all-terrain vehicle on April 25 that had previously been reported stolen, police said. He was arrested on May 18 and charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property.

Dodge drives off
A 2000 Dodge Caravan containing assorted mechanic tools parked outside of a home on Flower Lane in Centereach was stolen at about 11 p.m. on May 20, according to police.

Mexican food munchies
On May 19 at about 4:30 p.m., two women from Selden, a 21-year-old seated in the driver’s seat and an 18-year-old seated in the passenger seat of a Ford Taurus parked outside Blue Tortilla Fresh Mexican Grille, possessed marijuana and a prescription drug, according to police. They were arrested and each charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and fifth-degree criminal possession of marijuana.

Jewelry jacked
Someone stole jewelry from a home on Hawkins Road in Selden at about noon on April 30, police said. A police report was filed on May 21.

At least he smells good
A 63-year-old man from Port Jefferson stole 10 bottles of perfume from CVS Pharmacy on Main Street in Port Jefferson at about 1 p.m. on May 21, according to police. He was arrested on May 23 and charged with petit larceny.

Glass bottle breaks glass
Someone broke the rear window of a 2015 Jeep with a glass bottle at about 2 a.m. on May 18 while it was parked on Main Street in Port Jefferson, according to police.

House fire kills Centereach man
A 50-year-old man from Centereach was found dead in his home on Minerva Lane after neighbors called 911 when they heard an explosion and saw flames coming from the home at about 2:30 p.m. on May 18, police said. Suffolk County police homicide detectives and the arson section are investigating the incident, though the fire is not believed to be criminal in nature.

Drugs, cash and contraband were retrieved following the successful execution of a search warrant at a Sound Beach residence. Photo from SCPD

A local tip led to the arrest of a Sound Beach resident on drug charges.

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Tim Sini announced that an executed search warrant resulted in the recovery of drugs, cash and contraband, and the arrest of Robert Trent.

Trent, 25, who lives on North Country Road in Sound Beach, was charged with two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, third-degree criminal possession of marijuana and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

Detectives from the 7th Precinct Special Operations Team, with help from the Emergency Service Section, Canine Section, 7th Precinct Crime Section and Asset Forfeiture, executed the search warrant and seized 100 grams of heroin, 210 grams of cocaine, 740 grams of MDMA, more than a kilogram of marijuana, a 9-mm weapon, ammunition, $26,000 in cash, scales, cell phones and other drug packaging paraphernalia.

Attorney information for Trent was not immediately available.

Since its inception on March 31, a new police tip line, 852-NARC, has received 415 tips and paid out six cash rewards. And since a new police drug-fighting initiative began on Dec. 15, focusing on executing search warrants, 89 have been executed, with 179 people arrested. More than $1 million in cash, more than $1 million in drugs and more than 50 weapons have been seized.

As a result of the latest drug bust, Sound Beach Civic Association President Bea Ruberto, who said a resident tip contributed to the bust, has announced a poster contest to encourage residents to continue to be the eyes and ears that will keep streets safe.

“The police can’t be everywhere, and if we want to make our streets safer, it’s important to do what we can,” she said in an email. “That’s why we currently have reached out to high school students to develop a See Something, Say Something poster.”

The winner(s) will receive a $100 savings bond and will be announced at the civic’s next meeting on June 13. The poster(s) will be displayed throughout the community.

The poster for the short film "Grace." Photo from Marisa Vitali

By Victoria Espinoza

“Grace” did not come easy for Northport native Marisa Vitali, but she has used her struggles to help inspire others.

 The poster for the short film "Grace." Photo from Marisa Vitali
The poster for the short film “Grace.” Photo from Marisa Vitali

The village will be rolling out the red carpet for the premier of Vitali’s short film, “Grace,” based on her experiences battling addiction and recovery. In an interview, the filmmaker said she wanted to tell her story differently and focus more on the light at the end of the tunnel.

“I felt like a turtle without a shell, raw and emotionally exposed,” Vitali said of her struggles. “This was the story I wanted to tell in the film ‘Grace.’ Anyone can watch a film and learn how to shoot a bag of dope or smoke a crack pipe. I wanted to tell a story of hope and recovery and bridge a gap between addicts and non-addicts to start that conversation of recovery.”

The film focuses on a woman in her first year of recovery working at diner, which mirrors Vitali’s real life. She worked at Tim’s Shipwreck Diner in Northport during her first year of recovery. Vitali said she included the snapshot in her film because of how important the first days of improvement are for recovering addicts.

“The first year is the most difficult,” she said. “You’re left with fear, shame, anger and guilt.”

Vitali, who is now nearly 15 years sober, said she went to an outpatient program at Daytop Village Inc. in Huntington Station once she made a commitment to get clean, and continues to attend support meetings.

Discussing the problem is half the battle, Vitali said. She said a lot of people think addiction will never happen to them, or their loved ones, so they end up not having the information they need to deal with the struggles of substance abuse.

“Addiction is still portrayed as a taboo topic,” she said. “There is a lot of stigma attached to it. There is something to be said about how we can all be a little more compassionate for one’s struggle to overcome against all odds.”

Anthony Fernandino, chair of the Northport-East Northport Drug and Alcohol Task Force, said he hopes the film sparks a conversation about the importance of the prevention side of dealing with drug addiction.

“I felt like a turtle without a shell, raw and emotionally exposed.” — Marisa Vitali

“We want to continue to raise awareness, and provide the community with more education,” he said in a phone interview. “If we can prevent a kid or give a parent the tools they need to prevent this from happening, it is a much easier [task] than treating a kid who is already in the throws of addiction.”

He said this film could help give parents new talking points for more open conversations with their children and provide concrete examples of what to do to keep a safe and healthy environment.

This film also lines up with an ongoing battle facing Suffolk County, and the nation as a whole.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported more than 28,000 overdose deaths in 2014 as a result of heroin or opioid abuse across the United States — the highest number on record in any single year. Last year alone, Suffolk County suffered 103 fatal heroin overdoses and tallied more heroin-related overdose deaths than any county in New York from 2009 to 2013, according to the New York State Opioid Poisoning, Overdose and Prevention 2015 Report.

“Grace” was filmed at Tim’s Shipwreck Diner in the village, and Vitali said the community has been extremely supportive of this endeavor.

Marisa Vitali grew up in Northport, which is also the setting for her short film. Photo from Marisa Vital
Marisa Vitali grew up in Northport, which is also the setting for her short film. Photo from Marisa Vital

“It was important to shoot in Northport because it was a homecoming of sorts, and it felt like I had come full circle.”

Not only has “Grace” been received well by the community, it has also won film awards including Best Drama at the Cape Fear Independent Film Festival, the Audience Award for Best Short Film at the Long Island International Film Expo, and was selected for the short film corner in the Cannes Film Festival.

And the journey isn’t ending anytime soon for this short film.

Vitali said she is working to use the film, along with a lesson plan, as a learning tool for health classes in the Northport-East Northport school district.

“This was one of my intentions,” she said. “I wanted it to be available for educational purposes because there is not a lot of education on coming out of addiction and the recovery process.”

“Grace” will be shown at the John W. Engeman Theater in Northport on June 7 in an event hosted by the Northport-East Northport Drug and Alcohol Task Force. All proceeds will benefit Youth Directions and Alternatives, a nonprofit organization serving communities throughout Huntington by developing services and sober programs for youth in the communities.

Following the film premiere, there will be a question and answer session with Vitali and the director of the Huntington Drug and Alcohol Task Force Barry Zaks, where they will also discuss ways in which the community can work to address the issue of addiction.

The event was created for high school students, as there is some inappropriate language. Tickets for the event can be purchased at www.engemantheater.com/event/grace-premiere.

To learn more about “Grace” visit: www.grace-the-movie.com

To learn more about Marisa Vitali visit: www.marisavitali.com

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People at an anti-drug forum stay afterward to learn how to use the anti-overdose medication Narcan. Above, someone practices spraying into a dummy’s nostrils. Photo by Elana Glowatz

We’ve been hit with some staggering figures. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported more than 28,000 overdose deaths in 2014 as a result of heroin or opioid abuse, the highest number on record. Last year alone Suffolk County suffered 103 fatal heroin overdoses. Suffolk tallied more heroin-related overdose deaths than any county in New York from 2009 to 2013, according to the New York State Opioid Poisoning, Overdose and Prevention 2015 Report.

Although local and national initiatives have come from all different angles to try to combat the rise in heroin and opioid abuse, we think lawmakers lack focus.

Most recently, U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) endorsed a large legislation package that would review and update guidelines for prescribing opioids and pain medication and require a report to Congress on the availability of substance abuse treatment in the country, among many other provisions. While we applaud any earnest effort to combat the widespread problem, there needs to be more focus from one specific angle: prevention.

With treatment and recovery options across the North Shore and with the rate at which the county is now taking down drug dealers, enforcement and rehabilitation are not our biggest problems. Instead, more needs to be done to deter kids from ever considering to try drugs in the first place. While some schools have begun to work on this, working with police to hold Narcan training sessions and informational forums, students should be seeing more than just numbers and figures, police officers or counselors.

Tracey Budd, of Rocky Point, helped Suffolk County create a public service announcement, “Not My Child,” that has been shown in schools. Budd lost her son to a heroin overdose and her message is powerful. Kids need to see the struggles that addicts and their families go through to help hammer home how dangerous drugs are.

We also urge parents to be more aware and involved. You know your child — look, listen and ask questions. There are signs in mood, behavior, habit and appearance that could warn you that there’s a serious problem. And don’t be afraid to set boundaries or to talk both about drugs and other topics that may seem difficult or awkward. Many people are drawn to drugs because of an underlying emotional issue, but letting a teenager know that nonjudgmental ears are listening could be a solution.

Frederick Douglass once famously said, “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” Building those stronger children is how we should tackle our country’s growing drug problem.

Congressman Lee Zeldin, joined by Suffolk County Police Commissioner Tim Sini, health professionals, community groups, parents, expresses his support for the package of bills coming to the House floor this week. File photo from Jennifer DiSiena

By Phil Corso

Congress is taking unprecedented steps to fight heroin and opioid abuse, and U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) brought the battle to Kings Park to spread the word.

In the company of other lawmakers and activists, Zeldin spoke at VFW Post 5796 last Thursday to discuss a package of bipartisan legislation the congressman has been pushing that addresses different angles of the disturbing upward trend in heroin and prescription opioid abuse on Long Island and across the country. The momentum from his stumping also helped propel several pieces of such legislation to a vote on the House floor by the following week.

The proposed legislation would review and update guidelines for prescribing opioids and pain medication, and require a report to Congress on the availability of substance abuse treatment in the country, among other provisions.

In his remarks last week, the congressman cited an alarming statistic from the Centers for Disease Control: more than 28,000 overdose deaths were recorded in 2014 as a result of heroin or opioid abuse — the highest number on record. Zeldin, who joined the Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic in November, said Suffolk County recorded one of the highest rates of overdose deaths across the state, and needed a multi-pronged approach to address it.

“Next week, the House of Representatives is dedicating a full week to passing legislation aimed at addressing this epidemic, with a package of several bills to combat the growing heroin and opioid crisis,” Zeldin said. “Addiction and overdose deaths on Long Island and across our country are skyrocketing as a direct result of the increase in heroin and opioid abuse.”

In a phone interview, Zeldin said this was the first time the House had taken such unified measures to combat the problem, as its consequences were becoming impossible to ignore. The congressman used strong language when outlining the heroin addiction problem to drive it home.

“The rates that overdoses are increasing, and the fact that it’s not isolated to any one kind of community, has led many to describe this as an epidemic,” he said.

Joining Zeldin was Suffolk County Police Commissioner Tim Sini, who has been working on the front lines of the addiction problem, as Suffolk County suffered 103 fatal heroin overdoses in 2015 alone — more than double its neighboring Nassau County, which recorded 50. Sini also used the term “epidemic” to describe the fight he and his fellow officers have been facing.

“The heroin epidemic that our nation is facing is the number one public health and public safety issue here in Suffolk County,” Sini said. “Partnerships between local law enforcement and our federal representatives is a crucial tool in the battle against this scourge.”

And North Shore natives who felt the hurt of that “epidemic” stood beside Zeldin and Sini to throw their support behind legislative resolutions. Kim Revere, president of the Kings Park in the kNOw Community Coalition, and Linda Ventura, founder of the Thomas’ Hope Foundation, both said there were several different approaches lawmakers must take to address addiction, from prevention to rehabilitation.

“I believe wholeheartedly that prevention should begin at home,” said Revere, referring to the legislation as a wakeup call. “I am seeing many adults abusing alcohol and [prescription] drugs and that does not bode well for our children. I would like to see permanent evidence-based prevention programs implemented in school grades kindergarten through 12.”

Ventura, whose son Thomas died at age 21 from a drug overdose four years ago, said measures like Narcan, a medication which is administered to help reverse the effects of a heroin overdose, were important but not the only tool emergency responders should lean on.

“The United States needs to commit every resource imaginable to fight this insidious disease. The lifesaving tool Narcan needs to be accessible to all concerned to help save a life in the interim of an overdose to find treatment,” she said. “Treatment needs to be the appropriate level of care at the earliest intervention possible. Prevention — we must start educating and empowering our youngest of children with coping skills, relaxation techniques and communication skills.”

Event attendees learn how to use Narcan to counteract opioid overdoses. Photo by Giselle Barkley

By Giselle Barkley

Parents and students alike walked out of Mount Sinai High School knowing the ugly truth about heroin and opioid use and addiction. But they also walked away with a lesson about Narcan.

Event attendees learn how to use Narcan to counteract opioid overdoses. Photo by Giselle Barkley
Event attendees learn how to use Narcan to counteract opioid overdoses. Photo by Giselle Barkley

The school district held it’s first “The Ugly Truth” presentation on Tuesday in the Mount Sinai High School auditorium. Suffolk County Police Department officer George Lynagh, EMS officer Jason Byron and county Medical Examiner Michael Caplan tackled the origins of heroin and trends among addicts over the years. Suffolk County Legislator Sarah Anker (D-Mount Sinai) and Town of Brookhaven Councilwoman Jane Bonner (C-Rocky Point) also spoke at the event.

But residents didn’t simply learn about heroin on the Island, they also left with their own Narcan kits after Byron led a Narcan training class. According to Sgt. Kathleen Kenneally of the police department’s Community Response Bureau, Narcan, also known as Naloxone, was successfully administered around 530 times since the opiate antidote was introduced to the police department in July 2012.

Narcan, which reverses the effect of heroin or other opiate-based overdoses, can be administered via an injection or nasal spray. Mount Sinai resident Susan Matias said the spray is a friendly option for community members.

“Here, it’s introduced through the nasal passages — there’s no harm done, you’re not afraid of administering a needle and/or sticking yourself in the moment of chaos,” Matias said. “I think that’s why people are more open to partake and participate in the training.”

The nasal spray also makes it easier for people who still have a stigma about drug addicts and users. Byron reminded residents that the face of addicts has evolved and they’re not the only ones in need of drugs like Narcan.

“Sadly, the connotation is, we think people that could have overdosed are dirty when really it doesn’t have to be,” Byron said. “For opiate overdose, it doesn’t mean that it’s someone addicted to heroin. It could be somebody who’s possibly on pain management for cancer, end of life care, hospice care. It’s not the stereotypical — I hate to say it — junkie. That’s not what we’re seeing out there.”

According to Caplan, in the last few years, drug addicts who’ve overdosed on the substance have gotten younger and younger. The rate of opiate overdose deaths has increased by 140 percent since 2000. Synthetic opioids, like fentanyl, are responsible for 80 percent of these death rate increases.

Fentanyl, which some dealers or users will mix with another drug like heroin, is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. Combining this drug with others can make it difficult when administering Narcan.

“One of the problems with Fentanyl is, because it’s so potent, because it acts so fast, you may need to give multiple doses of Naloxone,” Caplan said.

According to Lynagh, the police department is starting to see higher levels of Fentanyl. He added that in his more than three decades as a police officer, the drug is one of the more addictive drugs he has seen. Lynagh added that heroin was initially introduced to combat morphine addiction.

“We don’t have too many people addicted to morphine now,” Lynagh said. “We have this heroin addiction, so sometimes we mean to do something well or combat a drug or something bad, with something else that’s bad.”

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Anthony Forte, left, leaves behind his mother Debbie Carpinone, right, and 21-year-old brother Christopher. Photo from Debbie Carpinone

Anthony Michael Forte was a 24-year-old who got good grades in high school and went home to a loving family. He dreamed of a pursuing a career in the entertainment or food industries — until he died of a heroin overdose on May 2, 2015.

Forte is the new face of heroin addicts on Long Island.

While the drug problem continues to rise, his mother, Debbie Carpinone, is doing what she can to keep her spirits high and her son’s alive. Last October, Carpinone, of Port Jefferson, created Anthony’s Angels and established a $1,000 scholarship in Forte’s name.

The scholarship will help send one Mount Sinai High School senior to college this year. Carpinone, who works as a teaching assistant for the Mount Sinai Elementary School, wanted to pay it forward and give one student a chance to do the one thing her son couldn’t — go to school.

“He was so smart,” she said. “He wanted to go to school so bad, but he just couldn’t get his act together due to his addiction.”

The teaching assistant of 13 years sold 128 “Anthony’s Angels” T-shirts last year for the fundraiser of the same name. She raised $1,610 and also established a Facebook group. She approached Mount Sinai Elementary School Principal John Gentilcore in January regarding her son’s death and her scholarship, Gentilcore said.

He said it was easier for the small school district to spread the word about the scholarship. Forte was Carpinone’s eldest son, who went to Comsewogue High School until 2006, before he graduated from Newfield High School in 2008. His mother said even when he hit tough times, Forte remained loving and always had a smile on his face.

According to Carpinone, her son started using heroin in his junior year of high school. He told her about his addiction around two years later, and was in and out of sober houses.

“Talking about the loss of a child, if that doesn’t move you, if that doesn’t evoke a response to support and help … then I’d be surprised,” Gentilcore said. “She was honoring her son. To be able to do that in a way that helps others is a wonderful thing.”

Forte’s autopsy showed high levels of fentanyl in his system. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, fentanyl is more potent than morphine. Carpinone said she discovered the identity of her son’s dealers, their address and their contact information. She provided Detective Ghyslaine McBean with this information, but said the detective hasn’t returned her call since November. McBean didn’t respond to media inquiries prior to publication.

While tackling the issue of drug use on Long Island is important for many communities across Long Island, acknowledging the evolution of heroin addicts and other drug abusers is also vital.

Carpinone said some people still think all heroin users are dirtbags or come from terrible homes, which is not the case. Tracey Budd, who lost her son to a heroin overdose four years ago, met Carpinone last year. Budd, who helps families dealing with addiction, said nowadays, anyone could become a drug addict.

“The majority of people I know [who are affected by a drug addiction] all come from good families or good homes,” Budd said. “The thing we learn in addiction is, we didn’t cause it.”

Shop employee Alex Patel said he’s seen 10 parents purchase vaporizers or accessories from the Rocky Point Smoke & Vape shop. Photo by Giselle Barkley

During last week’s Rocky Point Drug Forum, Brookhaven Councilwoman Jane Bonner (C-Rocky Point) announced her new step to combat drug use, with a ban regarding hookah lounges and smoke and vape shops in Brookhaven Town.

If the town approves and implements the councilwoman’s proposal, prospective shop owners cannot establish their businesses within 1,000 feet of family- or child-oriented institutions or various public places. These locations include educational and religious facilities; non-degree granting schools, like ballet and karate studios; and swimming pools. The ban won’t apply to existing lounges and shops that have proper permits and certificates of occupancy.

The idea isn’t simply to deter students from purchasing items from the store, but also to prevent them from using these devices, or similar items, to smoke drugs like marijuana. During last week’s forum, John Venza, vice president of Adolescent Services for Outreach, said some vaporizers can accommodate various forms of marijuana including dabs, a wax-like form of the drug that has higher levels of THC.

According to Venza, marketing has also changed over the years to appeal to a younger audience. Bonner not only agreed with Venza, but went a step further.

“We all know that those attractive signs that lure the kids in are the very same reason the government banned Camel advertising,” Bonner said during last week’s forum. She added that parents need to keep a closer eye on their kids by observing their social media accounts, going through their phones and having family dinners.

Jane-Bonner-Rocky-Point-Drug_2016_02_barkleyw
Councilwoman Jane Bonner announces her proposed ban at the Rocky Point Drug Forum last week. Photo by Giselle Barkley

For the Rocky Point school district and community alike, fighting substance abuse is a top priority. But according to Rocky Point Superintendent of Schools Michael Ring, the fight is an uphill battle with new devices on the market.

“One of the things that works against us is the emerging technology that makes it easier for students to be brought in and grow that into abuse,” Ring said.

But Rocky Point Smoke & Vape Shop employee Alex Patel said the ban might be a good idea with little reward. According to the Rocky Point resident and father of two, parents have purchased vaporizers and accessories for their children. Patel said the shop isn’t legally allowed to sell to residents who are under 21 years old, but this isn’t the only way students are acquiring the devices.

“Online, I see people buying left and right,” Patel said about vaporizers and similar devices. “It’s much cheaper online because they’re buying in bulk. So what they’re paying in the store $50, online, they can get it for $20.”

He added that it’s also easier for students to purchase these items online because these sites don’t verify the buyer’s age. In light of this, Patel continued saying the proposed ban won’t stop these underage residents from finding what they’re looking for.

North Shore Youth Council Executive Director Janene Gentile said she hasn’t seen an increase in these shops near her organization, but said the youth council works “with the legislators around holding the pharmaceutical companies accountable” as well.

“I believe in this bill,” Gentile added.

Residents can voice their opinions regarding the ban at the May 12 public hearing at 6 p.m. in Brookhaven Town Hall.

Terrill Simmons mugshot from SCPD

By Elana Glowatz

A heroin task force has just busted four people living across the street from the John F. Kennedy Middle School in Port Jefferson Station, including one who was found trying to flush drugs down the toilet, authorities said Thursday.

Terrill Simmons mugshot from SCPD
Terrill Simmons mugshot from SCPD

Agencies within the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Heroin Task Force executed a search warrant at the two-story Jayne Boulevard home on Monday, the DA’s office said in a press release, seizing raw heroin, 100 grams of crack cocaine, 50 grams of powdered cocaine, scales, wax packets and other supplies.

Authorities arrested one of the suspects at the scene, 38-year-old Terrill E. Simmons, charging him with criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal possession of marijuana, criminal use of drug paraphernalia, endangering the welfare of a child and tampering with evidence, after he allegedly was found flushing heroin down the toilet as detectives entered the house.

Police have also charged a father-son pair, 48-year-old Daniel Dumas and 27-year-old Daryl Dumas, with criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal use of drug paraphernalia. The son also faces charges of criminal sale of a controlled substance and criminal sale on or near school grounds.

Moneke Alexander mugshot from SCPD
Moneke Alexander mugshot from SCPD

A fourth suspect, 38-year-old Moneke Alexander, listed as a legal resident of Rhode Island, was charged with criminal possession, use of drug paraphernalia and endangering the welfare of a child.

A previous attorney for Daryl Dumas, Patchogue-based Daniel Henthorne, said he had not yet taken the defendant’s case, but “if we take the case then we’ll know more information.” Other attorney information for Dumas was not available. Alexander’s attorney, Riverhead-based Annette Totten, did not return a call seeking comment, while Simmons and the elder Dumas are both listed as representing themselves on the state court system’s online database and could not be reached for comment.

According to the DA’s office, each defendant pleaded not guilty to their respective charges in court on Wednesday.

The child endangerment charges stem from the alleged location of the drugs in the house: District Attorney Tom Spota said most of the heroin, crack and cocaine was found in boxes next to a 2-year-old’s bed — they were allegedly in the bedroom of Alexander’s son.

According to the DA’s office, Suffolk County Child Protective Services is caring for the child.

Daniel Dumas mugshot from SCPD
Daniel Dumas mugshot from SCPD
Daryl Dumas mugshot from SCPD
Daryl Dumas mugshot from SCPD

“Dealing drugs across the street from a school and the storage of these dangerous narcotics within feet of a child’s bed tell you all you need to know about these defendants’ disregard for everything other than getting and selling heroin and other drugs,” Spota said in a statement. “The shutdown of this operation is good news for the community.”

The heroin task force, which is made up of investigators from the DA’s office, county sheriff’s office and police department, had been investigating heroin trafficking within Brookhaven Town for several months at the time of the bust.

Bail was set at $15,000 cash or $30,000 bond for Alexander; $35,000 cash or $70,000 bond for Daniel Dumas; $75,000 cash or $150,000 bond for Daryl Dumas; and $100,000 cash or $200,000 bond for Simmons.

Residents flooded the Rocky Point High School auditorium on Tuesday for a night of education on drugs and a chance to see what drug use is like in the district.

John Venza, vice president of Adolescent Services for Outreach, a New York-based organization that encourages community residents to seek help for substance abuse, and Suffolk County Senior Drug Abuse Educator Stephanie Sloan tackled drug education in the nearly two-hour forum.

Gateway drugs, drug use causes, the evolution of these substances and how parents and students alike can navigate through life without using drugs were among the topics discussed. The forum was also an opportunity to see results from the New York State-issued 2014-15 survey regarding youth development. Rocky Point was one of 10 school districts that took the survey, which examined drug use and prevalence in the district.

“Let’s face it, teenage years are tough enough to begin with, but then you have all this stuff added on — I wouldn’t want to go through [adolescence] again [now],” said Amy Agnesini, forum organizer and athletic director for Rocky Point.

Although drug use in Rocky Point’s seventh and eighth-graders falls below state average for alcohol and energy drinks — the most common substances used by this age group — the survey revealed the use of these two drugs in addition to chewing tobacco or using marijuana, cigarettes and pain relievers, among a few other drugs, increased in high school.

Town of Brookhaven Councilwoman Jane Bonner (C-Rocky Point) was among the speakers in attendance. Bonner announced her piece of legislation to ban hookah lounges, vape and smoke shops within 1,000 feet of various locations, including schools, non-degree granting schools, like a ballet or karate studio, religious facilities, hospitals and other areas. She added that there will be a public hearing on the ban proposal in the near future.

“This is a war — we are in the trenches as parents, as educators, as members of the community — we’re the ones battling,” said Rocky Point Superintendent of Schools Michael Ring. “The battle isn’t necessarily in the streets, the way a lot of people think it is … it’s in your living room.”

According to Venza, technology isn’t the only thing that’s evolved; drugs have as well. People can now use devices like vape pens to smoke different forms of marijuana, including a dab, a waxy substance with high concentrations of THC. Between 14 and 24-years-old is the worst time to smoke marijuana in a person’s life, Venza said during the forum. The potency of drugs, including marijuana, has also increased over the decades.

“Unlike 10, 20, 30, 40 years ago where you needed a needle, you no longer need a needle because [of the purity of the drugs],” Venza said about heroin needles. People can now sniff the drug and get high, which makes trying the drug less daunting, Venza added.

Outreach’s Vice President of Adolescent Services John Venza educates adults and children about drugs during a forum at Rocky Point High School. Photo by Giselle Barkley
Outreach’s Vice President of Adolescent Services John Venza educates adults and children about drugs during a forum at Rocky Point High School. Photo by Giselle Barkley

Hope House Ministries’ Opioid Overdose Prevention Program’s Clinical Director Dr. Jennifer Serrentino said 120 people die from drug overdose daily. Last year, there were around 100 fatal heroin overdoses in Suffolk County alone.

Although one resident voiced her concerns that the forum would give students more ideas on how and where to use drugs, the speakers and parents, like Sound Beach resident Sharon Ferraro, think knowledge is power.

“If you were at a party or at a friend’s house and you see that paraphernalia, that’s your trigger to get out,” Ferraro said to her daughter Molly Searight, after the resident posed the question.

Ferraro said she is very involved with her children, but that’s not the case for every family. She said some parents are busy and don’t always spend quality time with their children. Although Ferraro’s daughter Molly hasn’t seen students using drugs on campus, beyond electronic cigarettes or vape pens in the bathroom, she said she hears of drug use from peers. After the event, Molly said she’s more aware of the effects of alcohol on youth.

Residents and speakers alike, including the councilwoman, were not only pleased with the event’s turnout, but also the large volume of residents who were in attendance.

“I was so proud of the community that I live in, that it was standing room only,” Bonner said. “People [are] finally recognizing that you can’t bury your heads in the sand. Community forums like this one are integral to combatting this [drug use issue].”

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