Six men were busted for running a prescription drug ring that flooded Staten Island and Brooklyn with more than $ 25,000 worth of opioid painkillers, authorities said Thursday.
The alleged drug pushers were charged with selling on the black market more than 2,800 oxycodone pills scooped up at area pharmacies, authorities said.
The defendants used coded language to coordinate the pill pick-ups and sales in a conspiracy that ran for three months starting Aug. 1, 2016, authorities said.
“The defendants are charged with distributing thousands of addictive pills and pocketing thousands in cash collected in the areas of the city most affected by the opioid crisis,” said city Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan.
“Selling lethal drugs as neighbors overdose and die is deeply disturbing.”
The arrests come as the city grapples with an exploding opioid epidemic that claimed roughly 1,100 lives last year.
Alleged ringleader Raymond Raimondi, 64, is accused of collecting the oxycodone pills from the others and selling them to undercover officers 15 times in several locations including near Poly Prep Country Day School in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn.
The other members of the drug ring were identified as Vincent Maniscalco, 55, of South River, N.J.; Paul Consentino, 62, of Brooklyn; Robert Florio, 52, of Brooklyn; Louisa Valentin, 53, of Brooklyn; and Jeffrey Tesoro, 50, of Staten Island.
The Staten Island-based Raimondi and Maniscalco are known associates of the Gambino crime family, sources said.
The wire-tapping investigation was conducted by Brennan’s office, the Staten Island District Attorney and the NYPD.