Cops busted 14 people in connection with a Southern Brooklyn drug ring that has been tied to a series of overdose deaths, according to authorities.
The organization — which operated out of hotel rooms in Marine Park and Bath Beach — sold cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, and other synthetic drugs on Southern Brooklyn streets, according to the prosecutor in charge of the case, who called the allegations especially heinous because of the drugs’ lethal nature.
“This investigation was prompted by the urgent need to identify the source of highly potent drugs that were endangering lives in South Brooklyn,” said Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan. “Fentanyl and its variations contributed to half of all overdose deaths in New York City last year, and removing these substances from the black market is a top priority for our office.”
The investigation began following a rash of overdose deaths in Kings County — including multiple fentanyl-related fatalities in Canarsie — in June 2017, according to authorities.
Investigators identified 34-year-old Waldemar “Wiz” Valentin as the head of the drug ring, which operated out of the Days Inn Motel — located at 1766 E. 49th Street in Marine Park — and the Harbor Motel — located at 1730 Shore Parkway in Bath Beach.
Prosecutors charged Valentin with operating as a major trafficker, attempted assault, assault, intimidating a witness and conspiracy.
Four other members of Valentin’s organization face charges, as well.
Brandice “Bee” Williams, 35, was charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance, and conspiracy; Phillip Patsuriya, 24, faces charges of conspiracy, attempted assault and assault; Michael “Mikey” Baca-Velazquez, 20, and Anastasia Spivak, 21, were each charged with conspiracy.
During the later months of the investigation, prosecutors shifted their focus to an offshoot of the Valentin ring, which operated out of the Marlboro Housing project in Gravesend, according to police.
Throughout the two-year wiretap probe, cops documented more than 175 narcotics sales, which the suspects allegedly used to fund lavish lifestyles of designer clothes and high-end shopping sprees, investigators said.
One suspect, 31-year-old James Sease, allegedly purchased a $5,000 Chanel bag using a stack of $20 bills. At the time of his arrest on May 3, police recovered numerous luxury goods and more than $19,000 in cash from Sease’s home.
Prosecutors also accused the traffickers of using violence to suppress dissidents.
In one instance in May 2018, Valentin and Patsuriya entered a Staples department store in Sheepshead Bay and violently assaulted a man who they suspected of stealing drugs from them, cops said.
Following the assault, Valentin told Pasturiya that he would harm the victim’s family if he spoke to police.
“I already put my people’s on so they know where he lives, who his moms and all that,” he said.
All 14 suspects have been arrested at various times over the last three months, according to authorities.
Brooklyn’s top prosecutor commended the work of the Special Narcotics Prosecutors and committed to bringing other drug traffickers to justice.
“The epidemic of opioid use continues to destroy the lives of too many members of our communities and their families,” said District Attorney Eric Gonzalez. “I remain committed to working with my law enforcement partners in holding accountable those who endanger lives by selling these dangerous substances.”