Suffolk County is experiencing a historic opioid epidemic, with more than 300 people dying due to opioid-related overdoses in 2016 and 2017.
The District Attorney’s Office is committed to investing in innovative approaches to combating the opioid epidemic, including prevention, treatment and recovery for those suffering from substance use disorders. The Office has also dedicated an enormous amount of resources into the investigation and prosecution of traffickers and drug dealers who are responsible for distributing narcotics in our communities.
The Narcotics Bureau is responsible for the investigation and prosecution of all levels of drug trafficking within the County, from street-level dealers all the way through major distribution networks. Regarding street-level dealers, under District Attorney Sini’s leadership both as Police Commissioner and now District Attorney, law enforcement has dramatically increased the number of narcotics search warrants by approximately 300% compared to 2015. This has removed a record number of deadly drugs and weapons from our communities, disrupted drug operations, and resulted in hundreds of arrests of drug dealers.
Additionally, in July 2018, District Attorney Sini created the Special Narcotics Unit within the Narcotics Bureau to investigate and prosecute large-scale narcotics distribution rings in Suffolk County. Prosecutors and detective investigators assigned to the Bureau employ a number of cutting-edge investigative tactics, including the use of wiretaps, undercover narcotics purchases and electronic surveillance to arrest and prosecute drug dealers.
The office also has partnered with the Suffolk County Police Department to dispatch a rapid response to overdose scenes with the objective of identifying the drug dealer responsible for causing the overdose. The Office utilizes innovative prosecutorial strategies to hold those drug dealers accountable for overdose deaths occurring in our communities. For example, the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office was the first office in New York State to prosecute a drug dealer with Manslaughter in the Second Degree for causing a fatal overdose. Since then, the Office has brought Manslaughter charges against three additional individuals.
In addition to enforcement efforts, the Office works with its partners in the court system and in the substance abuse treatment and recovery community to develop innovative strategies to divert defendants who commit crimes due to substance use disorders from the criminal justice system and into treatment. Click here to learn more about diversion programs offered in Suffolk County.