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Suffolk County District Attorney

Tillman III, the newest member of the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office. Photo by Raymond Janis

The Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office welcomed its newest hire, an emotional support canine named Tillman III, on Tuesday, Feb. 14, at the William J. Lindsay County Complex in Hauppauge.

Tillman with Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney. Photo by Raymond Janis

Tillman is a 2-year-old Lab/golden retriever mix, bred and trained as a facility dog by Medford-based Canine Companions. Assistant District Attorney Melissa Grier, of the Child Abuse and Domestic Violence Bureau, paired with Tillman, who will assist her as well as victims, witnesses and officers during traumatic events.

“This is a tough system for victims, especially child victims,” District Attorney Ray Tierney (R) said. Tillman is “very comforting, and it’s just a good opportunity to help the kids with a very recognizable and lovable thing in a very unrecognizable and tough situation.”

Together, Tierney and Tillman strolled through the various rooms and hallways throughout the office building, the staff greeting their newest colleague with delight.

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Defendants Charged with Stealing Catalytic Converters in Rocky Point, Holbrook, and Bellport

Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney announced on Jan. 10 the indictments of Medford residents James O’Brien, Daniel Labbe and Jason Labbe for allegedly stealing catalytic converters from trucks and vans in Rocky Point, Holbrook, and Bellport. O’Brien was also indicted on separate charges of alleged Robbery in the First Degree and Burglary in the Second Degree.

“Catalytic converter thefts have caused significant financial loss and tremendous inconvenience to the residents of Suffolk County,” said District Attorney Tierney. “These arrests are a significant step in my commitment to reduce the scourge of catalytic converter thefts by holding criminals responsible for their actions. The separate allegations that O’Brien brazenly committed crimes of robbery and burglary indicate a disturbing pattern of criminal behavior, which not be tolerated.”

James O’Brien, 45, was arraigned on January 5, 2023 before Supreme Court Justice, the Honorable John B. Collins on an indictment, including charges of Robbery in the First Degree for allegedly robbing a Yaphank gas station on November 2, 2022, while displaying what appeared to be a firearm, and Burglary in the Second Degree for allegedly burglarizing a residence in Yaphank on December 15, 2022. 2 Justice Collins set bail on that indictment in the amount of $50,000 cash, $500,000 bond, or $500,000 partially secured bond. O’Brien was also indicted on the following charges after allegedly stealing a catalytic converter from a work van in Bellport on September 5, 2022:

One count of Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree;

One count of Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree;

One count of Auto Stripping in the Third Degree;

and One count of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Seventh Degree.

O’Brien was arraigned on that indictment before Justice Collins as well. Justice Collins ordered his bail set at $5,000 cash, $50,000 bond, or $50,000 partially secured bond on those charges. O’Brien is represented by Eric Besso, Esq. His next court date is February 15, 2023.

Previously, Daniel Labbe, 43, was indicted on the following charges after allegedly stealing two catalytic converters from a work truck in Rocky Point on October 22, 2022:

One count of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree;

One count of Auto Stripping in the Second Degree;

One count of Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree;

One count of Possession of Burglar Tools;

and One count of Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fifth Degree.

Daniel Labbe was arraigned on the indictment on November 10, 2022, before Supreme Court Justice, the Honorable Timothy P. Mazzei, who remanded him without bail. Daniel Labbe had previously pleaded guilty to Auto Stripping in the Second Degree and Petit Larceny in a separate case and is awaiting sentence. He is represented on the new indictment by Scott Zerner, Esq. His next court date is January 13, 2023.

Additionally, Jason Labbe, 45, was indicted on the following charges after allegedly stealing a catalytic converter from a van outside a doctor’s office in Holbrook on August 24, 2021:

One count of Criminal Mischief in the Third Degree;

Two counts of Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fourth Degree;

One count of Petit Larceny;

and One count of Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fifth Degree.

Jason Labbe was arraigned on the indictment on December 8, 2022, after being returned on a warrant. County Court Judge and Acting Supreme Court Justice, the Honorable Steven A. Pilewski rejected the prosecutor’s request for bail and, rather, released Jason Labbe to the Supervised Release Program and required that he wear a GPS tracker while the case is pending. Jason Labbe has additional pending cases, including two which involve the alleged theft of catalytic converters. He is represented on this indictment by Danielle Papa, Esq. His next court date is January 17, 2023.

Catalytic converters are a part of a vehicle’s exhaust device and use precious metals in their center to reduce pollutants from a vehicle’s engine. These precious metals, which include palladium, platinum, and rhodium can be more valuable than gold and make catalytic converters a target for theft. They can be stolen from underneath a vehicle in only a few minutes using a reciprocating saw and typically have no unique identification features, which make them difficult to trace to a lawful owner.

These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Blythe C. Miller of the Financial Crimes Bureau, and James O’Rourke of the Major Crime Bureau.

Criminal complaints and indictments are merely accusatory instruments.

Defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. No one is above the law.

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Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney on Jan. 9 announced the indictment of Robert Lynch, 66, who is accused of Course of Sexual Conduct Against a Child in the First Degree, for the sexual abuse of three children over several years.

“These victims, who are now between the ages of 24 and 35, found the courage to come forward and describe the horrific abuse that they endured as children at the hands of a grown man,” said District Attorney Tierney. “My prosecutors will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that child abusers are held responsible for their actions, no matter when these actions occurred.” According to the investigation, between 1997 and 2002, Lynch allegedly subjected three children, who were then between the ages of seven and 13, to ongoing sexual abuse at his home in Selden.

Lynch is charged with three counts of Course of Sexual Conduct Against a Child in the First Degree, a Class B violent felony, and one count of Sexual Abuse in the First Degree, a Class D violent felony. On January 9, 2023, at the arraignment on the indictment, County Court Judge, the Honorable Karen M. Wilutis ordered Lynch held on $1 million cash, $5 million bond, or $10 million partially 2 secured bond.

Authorities are asking anyone who may have information about this case and anyone that lived at or frequented 569 Hawkins Road in Selden between 1997 to 2002, to please contact the Special Victims Section of the Suffolk County Police Department at 631-852-6175.

Criminal complaints and indictments are merely accusatory instruments.

Defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. No one is above the law.

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Defendant Christopher Reece Pleaded Guilty to Felony Drug and  Weapon Charges in August  

Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney announced on Nov. 29 the sentence of Christopher Reece to 10 years in prison following his August conviction  for possession of narcotics and a loaded, operable illegal weapon.  

Christopher Reece

“This conviction represents the fourth time that this defendant has been found to have either been  selling dangerous drugs and/or possessing illegal weapons,” said DA Tierney. “Enough is enough.  He needs to be held responsible for his actions and serve a significant sentence.”  

Reece, 45, pleaded guilty in August to one count of Criminal Possession of a Controlled  Substance in the Second Degree, a class A felony, and one count of Criminal Possession of a  Weapon in the Second Degree, a class C violent felony.  

The defendant was arrested on October 21, 2021, after members of the Suffolk County Police  Department executed a search warrant at his residence on Middleton Road in Bohemia. During  the search, detectives recovered 978 grams of cocaine, a loaded .9mm semiautomatic pistol, and  two additional magazines. 

Members of law enforcement estimate that the sale of the cocaine would have yielded Reece about  $90,000 in profit. Also recovered during the execution of the search warrant were several digital  scales used for weighing and distributing cocaine, multiple cellular phones, and $7,000 in cash. A  review of the cellular telephones recovered at the residence showed communications to and from  the defendant, his customers, and others, discussing narcotic transactions.  

Reece had been previously convicted in 2014, 2004 and 1998 of Attempted Criminal Possession  of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree; Attempted Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance  in the Third Degree and Criminal Possession of a Loaded Firearm in the Third Degree respectively.  

The defendant pleaded guilty on August 25, before Supreme Court Justice, the Honorable  Timothy P. Mazzei. At the time of his plea, Reece admitted to possessing 978 grams of cocaine  and a loaded, operable pistol. On Nov. 29  the defendant was sentenced by Justice Mazzei to 10 years’  incarceration followed by 5 years’ post-release supervision.  

Criminal complaints and indictments are merely accusatory instruments.  

Defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. No one is above the law. 

 

Hundreds of courageous community members plunged into the icy waters of Cedar Beach on Saturday, Nov. 19, during this year’s rendition of the Freezin’ for a Reason Polar Plunge.

The Town of Brookhaven puts this annual event together to raise money for the Special Olympics New York organization. Proceeds from the event support training for athletes, equipment, health supplies and attire. 

Saturday’s event has raised over $128,000, according to the nonprofit’s website which proclaims that it “provides inclusive opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities to discover and unleash the champion within.” 

Hundreds of plungers from across the region participated in the plunge, with many more spectating warmly from afar. Town of Brookhaven Councilwoman Jane Bonner (R-Rocky Point), a perennial “plunger,” made the daring plunge again.

In an interview with Bonner, she was asked what motivates her to take the cold water dip year after year. Her response, jokingly: “We ask ourselves that every year,” she said.

Bonner, who took the plunge this year with Special Olympians Daniel and Joey, said she finds renewed joy and optimism through her involvement in the activities. 

“When you meet all those Special Olympians and interview them … it’s impossible not to get caught up in the adrenaline and momentum of supporting them and other athletes,” she said. “It’s about $400 to $500 per athlete per sport, and no family is ever charged,” adding, “These plunges … help out so many athletes and families.”

Plunging with Bonner was Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney (R). Before making his plunge, the district attorney expressed some apprehensions, joking, “Unlike Jane and the rest, I am a coward so I’m trying to figure out what brought me to this stage.”

Despite his self-professed reluctance, Tierney did take the plunge. Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine (R), on the other hand, also made an appearance though avoiding the frigid waters. 

During a speech, the town supervisor described the plunge as a meaningful sacrifice in serving the greater good. “At the end of the day, you may be a little cold, but this world is going to be a lot happier for what the people are going to do plunging today,” he said.

This year’s polar plunge brought together hundreds of athletes, students and community members who suffered in unity. Bonner said an event such as this makes the community a better place.

“Regardless of political affiliation, color, economic status — there’s no barrier,” the town councilwoman said. “We’re all doing this same thing for the same cause, and it’s hard not to feel good about it at the end of the day.”

— Photos by Raymond Janis 

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Bradley Garyn

Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney announced on Nov. 21 the sentencing of Bradley Garyn to an indeterminate prison term of 5 to 15 years in prison after a 2020 four-month long investigation into child pornography and coercion crimes following a juvenile female’s report to law enforcement that the defendant coerced her into providing him with explicit photographs and videos via the social media platform Snapchat. 

The investigation revealed that Garyn established contact with multiple juvenile females on Snapchat under multiple usernames including “ipay4feetpics,” “paying4feetpics” and “PayU4Selfies.” The defendant offered $10 payment in exchange for “selfies” or photographs of the girls’ feet.

After establishing communication with the victims, Garyn solicited increasingly explicit photographs and videos in exchange for higher amounts of money, up to $500. In one instance, Garyn coerced a victim into sending him sexually explicit photographs and video by threatening to disseminate intimate images of her. Garyn was arrested in December 2020 and search warrants were executed by law enforcement to seize and search various computer equipment and cellular telephones in his possession. Garyn, 29, pleaded guilty on Sept. 19.

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Suffolk County Police arrested a Shirley man on Oct. 31 after he posted a photo of himself on social media with one of the guns used in the shooting outside gubernatorial hopeful and U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin’s home in Shirley last month.

Noah Green, 18, was arrested at his home just after 1 p.m. Monday in Shirley and was found with a loaded 9MM Taurus handgun, as well as a stolen 2022 Honda, authorities alleged in court documents.

“Over the past three weeks, investigators from the District Attorney’s Office working with Suffolk County Police Department detectives, have been working to solve the shooting that occurred outside Congressman Zeldin’s home. Through that collaborative and diligent police work, we have now recovered one of the firearms used in that dangerous shooting. The investigation is continuing and we expect that will have more developments in the future,” said Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney.

Green was ordered held on $750,000 cash bail, $1.5 million bond and $7.5 million partially secured bond. He is due back in court on Nov. 4.

Luxury retail stores, such as the one shown above, have been targeted by ORC rings. Photo from Pixabay.

Organized retail crime, a nationwide retail theft phenomenon, has reached Suffolk County.

Last week, four individuals from Newark, New Jersey, were arrested by the Suffolk County Police Department for their alleged involvement in an ORC ring that stole $94,000 worth of luxury handbags from a Balenciaga store in East Hampton on March 3. Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney (R) held a press conference shortly after the arrests were made, announcing that those responsible for the theft will be prosecuted.

Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney (R), above, addressed the recent spike of organized retail crime in the area. Photo from Tierney’s office.

“The individuals in East Hampton, they stole $94,000 worth of bags and they were going to sell that on the secondary market, and they were going to make tens of thousands of dollars in profit,” Tierney said. “The purpose of last week’s press conference was to let people know we are paying attention and we are going to address it because, ultimately, the people who bear the costs of that theft are the consumers, the citizens of Suffolk County who have to pay increased prices for everything.”

ORC refers to the coordinated shoplifting carried out by professional theft rings. According to Tierney, there are stark differences between ORC and ordinary shoplifting.

“We’re trying to separate retail theft from these organized retail theft rings,” he said. “While we’re taking all retail thefts seriously, we want to put special emphasis on the organized retail theft rings, where individuals come in and they’re en masse stealing large amounts of merchandise with the specific purpose of reselling it on the secondary market for profit.”

Gus Downing is publisher and editor of The D&D Daily, an online publication that follows retail trends and raises public awareness for these issues. According to him, ORC has proliferated in recent years due to the rise of the online resale marketplace.

“Organized retail crime has been around a long time, but the internet and third-party selling online is really what took this into the stratosphere,” he said in a phone interview. “When you look at the internet and third-party sellers, and then you tack on the opioid epidemic and the cartels flooding the United States with fentanyl, and then you tack on the surge in crime generically, you’ve got a heck of a problem that is spiraling out of control.”

Downing said that a considerable proportion of mainstream opioid users require a revenue stream to finance their habit. According to him, ORC and drugs are inextricably linked together.

“It’s really all about drugs,” he said. “That’s what drives a person into a store to steal. They have to get the money, and what’s the easiest place to get it when you have millions of people online that would love a deal?”

Tierney has not yet noticed a connection between ORC and drugs in the area. According to him, large returns appear to be motivating the spike in ORC-related incidents throughout the county.

“There’s the sector of the population that are addicted to drugs — they might have mental health issues, and in a sort of ad hoc, unorganized manner they steal things for subsistence and whatever meager money they make goes to drugs or they’re stealing for food,” he said, adding, “Those people from the organized rings, I don’t see drugs and drug addiction being a factor in that. I see it being a profit margin.”

“Those organized gangs, they prey on the most vulnerable people in our society.”

— Barbara Staib, director of development and communications at The National Association for Shoplifting Prevention

Shoplifting education

The National Association for Shoplifting Prevention, based in Huntington Station, is an organization that works to curb retail-related thefts through education. According to Barbara Staib, director of development and communications at NASP, shoplifters can be separated into two categories: professional and nonprofessional.

“While not all shoplifters are involved in ORC, anybody who is involved in ORC is a shoplifter,” she said in a phone interview. “People don’t just jump right into being involved in organized gangs. They started as a shoplifter.”

According to its website, NASP offers online courses for adults and juveniles who need to complete a theft class as required by a court or probation officer. Staib suggested that programs such as these help to reduce recidivism of retail theft crimes, which in turn can deter recruitment into ORC rings.

Staib said NASP works with nonprofessional shoplifters. According to her, these individuals are often the most vulnerable to the predatory recruitment tactics of ORC ringleaders.

“Those organized gangs, they prey on the most vulnerable people in our society,” she said. “They prey on people that are homeless, people who are drug addicted, people who are perhaps in a bad place in their lives and need money.” She added, “From a societal point of view, ORC is very damaging.”

Tierney acknowledged the need to treat retail theft incidents in a case-by-case manner. He said the county offers various programs, such as Stoplift, for first-time offenders. However, he added that those who follow a pattern of criminal behavior will be held responsible for their actions.

“The people who stole the $94,000 worth of bags were not first-time offenders,” he said. “Those repeat offenders who are enriching themselves are completely different from first-time shoplifters,” adding, “Of course, we’re going to treat the first-time shoplifter a lot different than we are with those organized theft rings.”

Staib finds a silver lining through programs such as NASP that educate shoplifters. While she considers ORC a dangerous crime trend that requires strict penalties, she views shoplifting education as a way to counter the spread of ORC.

“We need to approach [shoplifting] in two different ways,” Staib said. “We need to approach ORC as a felony crime that meets harsh punishment.” Discussing ways to address nonprofessional shoplifting, she added, “Our message is that education is valuable at any point for someone who shoplifts.”

To learn more about the shoplifting education programs offered by NASP, visit the website www.shopliftingprevention.org.

Suffolk County D.A. Raymond Tierney

A former Suffolk assistant DA is ready to take over the main seat in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office.

Ray Tierney, who will be running on the Republican and Conservative tickets Nov. 2 to challenge current DA Tim Sini (D), stopped by TBR News Media’s office last week to introduce himself and answer some questions about his campaign.

“When I talk about this contest, I say that it is a contest between the prosecutor and the politician, or when you look at my opponent’s record — what he’s done and what he’s claimed to have done, more accurately — it’s a contest between the prosecutor and the pretender,” Tierney said.

Background

Tierney resides in the Town of Brookhaven with his wife, Erica, and their four children.

The prosecutor grew up in Commack and is a graduate of St. Anthony’s High School where he played football and was a member of the school’s track team. He went on to play football for Brown University where he graduated in 1988, and after taking a short time off from his studies, he attended St. John’s University’s School of Law.

He began his law career in the Suffolk County DA’s office under DA James Catterson (R).

“At first, I had a very sort of infantile concept of what it meant to be a lawyer,” Tierney said. “I always wanted to be a prosecutor. I always wanted to be in court. Although there’s so many things you could do, that’s all I really ever wanted to do, and as I got older, more sophisticated, my focus never changed.”

He decided to leave the DA’s office in 1999 when his first two children were born and worked for a private firm. Tierney said the tragic events of 9/11 changed his life. He was at a meeting in Queens when the attacks happened, and he watched the towers fall on TV.

“I was driving back out east and all the emergency vehicles were flooding into the city, and I could see the smoke and I was, like, ‘What am I doing with my life?’” he said. “This job that I have right now is inconsequential. So, I wanted to get back into public service.”

He returned to the DA’s office in 2002 during the time of Tom Spota (D) and worked there for another six years. Tierney said he decided to leave the office when he was told they may fire him for insubordination.

“They tried to get rid of me because I wouldn’t go along with their illegal, unethical ways,” he said. “I worked in an office whose job it was to uproot political corruption. But, instead, it was the office’s leadership that was corrupt, as history has proven.”

He then went on to work in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York as an assistant attorney for more than 11 years.

He left the office in 2019 to become an executive assistant district attorney in the Kings County District Attorney’s office where he was in charge of the violent criminal enterprises bureau, crime strategies unit and body worn camera unit.

In order to run for Suffolk County DA, Tierney had to leave the Brooklyn office and is currently Suffolk Regional Off-Track Betting Corp.’s chief counsel for compliance and enforcement.

His experience

During his time in Brooklyn, among his responsibilities, Tierney oversaw violent street gang investigations and prosecutions. He came to the position with extensive experience prosecuting MS-13 cases, which he said led to the incarceration of dozens of gang members.

One of the most high-profile MS-13 cases involved gang leaders Heriberto Martinez and Carlos Ortega. The two were found guilty for commissioning five murders in 2010, including Vanessa Argueta, 19, of Central Islip, and her son Diego Torres who was only 2 years old. Martinez and Ortega are currently serving life sentences. Tierney also tried Adalberto Guzman who was found guilty of killing the 2-year-old and is also serving a life sentence.

Tierney was the assistant U.S. attorney who prosecuted Ed Mangano, former Nassau County Executive, and Mangano’s wife as well as former Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto for corruption in 2018.

In addition to gang violence and public corruption, he also has been a prosecutor on cases involving Colombian drug cartel, racketeering and white-collar crimes.

Issues with Sini

Tierney takes issue with the press releases sent out by the DA’s office. He said he feels a high percentage of the releases are about arrests and arraignments but not about sentencing.

“What he does, because he’s in show business, he has the glitzy arraignment, and this is the biggest, baddest, greatest case, and then you never hear what happens at the time of the sentence,” the candidate said.

Tierney added he could take any of Sini’s accomplishments and dissect them and show that the current DA is “a fraud” and is “looking for that initial blast of publicity.”

“You don’t get to decide where your next case comes from, the streets tell you where the next case is,” Tierney said. “So, if you have an investigation here but the violence is settled here, you put your resources here, you put your resources there.”

He gave an example that Sini convicted several MS-13 members on charges such as acts of conspiracy instead of murder or gun charges. He said Sini then turned the gang members on each other so they would testify against one another. The result was they each pled to lower charges and got out of jail.

Tierney said he would use overarching tactics such as conspiracy, but then tie the case to the murders committed and pull the case all together to ensure the murderers would serve jail time.

His campaign

Tierney said the job is a balance between law enforcement and fairness, and that will be his goal if elected. He added he has never aligned himself to one party and has prosecuted defendants on both sides of the political aisle. He is running to bring experience, integrity and independence to the office.

He said regarding the county and the Suffolk County Police Department, it’s important to work with them but also maintain independence from each other.

“When it comes to law enforcement, I make the decisions,” he said. “No one else makes the decisions. I support the county, I support the police department. But I don’t work for them when it comes to law enforcement, and I don’t excuse bad behavior.”

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Suffolk County District Attorney Tim Sini (D). File photo

A Sound Beach man who has already pleded guilty to sex trafficking, among several other charges, is set to spend the next decade behind bars.

The house on Lower Rocky Point Road in Sound Beach where Raymond Rodio III allegedly perpetrated acts of human trafficking. Photo by Kyle Barr

Supreme Court Justice Mark Cohen handed down the verdict the morning of Tuesday, Sept. 29 to Raymond Rodio III, 49, of Sound Beach. The alleged perpetrator of the sex trafficking ring had already pleaded guilty Feb. 4 to several counts of sex trafficking, promoting prostitution and drug sales. The judge also sentenced him to five years of post-release supervision on the top indictment for trafficking. He is now a registered sex offender as well. 

“This defendant had a sex dungeon in his parents’ home and forced women into sex slavery,” District Attorney Tim Sini (D) said after the sentencing. “He pleaded guilty because the evidence was overwhelming thanks to the team who investigated and prosecuted this case, and today he met his fate. 

Suffolk County Police Department has previously said Rodio was identified through a traffic stop back in August, 2018. Police said they identified a suspected victim of human trafficking, and the departments Human Trafficking Investigations Unit found further evidence the victim had been forced into prostitution by Rodio in the spring of 2018.

Further investigation by police and DA’s office’s Human Trafficking Team revealed that Rodio had been conducting a human trafficking operation out of the basement of his parents’ residence, located on Lower Rocky Point Road in Sound Beach, since as early as 2014. The investigation identified more than 20 victims of Rodio’s sex trafficking operation.

The DA said Rodio would post advertisements on websites, including Backpage and Craigslist, promoting prostitution by the victims and would keep either a large percentage or all of the profits of their prostitution. Investigations also revealed he coerced victims into performing sex acts by getting them hooked on heroin and crack cocaine. Further investigations also determined he was involved in drug sales.

The investigation also revealed evidence that Rodio would occasionally keep victims in the basement for extended periods of time and force them to use a bucket as a toilet because the basement does not have a bathroom. The door to the basement has an exterior lock to which Rodio had the only key. In addition to the house, Rodio also forced the victims to perform prostitution at various motels throughout Suffolk County.

“Today he will be punished for the damage he caused to more than 20 victims,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart said in a release. “Bringing justice to these women is part of the important work of the department’s Human Trafficking Investigations Unit. I commend those investigators as well as the District Attorney’s Human Trafficking Team for their dedication to combatting this issue and holding those who force women into prostitution for their own financial gain accountable for their actions.”