I oo o CM CM CM CRIME WATCH NASSAU DISTRICT ATTORNEY Madeline Singas addresses a crowd of professionals at a conference on the opioid crisis on March 15 at Molloy college in Farmingdale. Singas details DA's office response to opioid crisis BYEDENLAIKIN email@example.com Nassau District Attorney Madeline Sin- gas described to an audience of about 65 advocates and professionals in the sub- stance abuse and law enforcement fields, at a March 15 conference at Molloy College, the impact the opioid epidemic has had on daily operations in her office. \I get phone calls, emails and letters every single day from someone in the com- munity who's at a loss for what to do with a loved one who's struggling with addic- tion, or who has just lost someone to opi- oids,\ Singas said. \The number of opioid overdose deaths in Nassau County last year, as of Nov. 1, was 147,\ she said. \There were 13 homicides in Nassau dur- ing that time.\ She went on to say that the crisis goes beyond 147 isolated cases. The people who died were someone's family members, and the ripple effect also impacts people at the victim's job, community and faith-based center. Singas offered what she felt was the most staggering statistic yet The average life expectancy in the United States declined for the second consecutive year in 2016, fueled by a staggering 21 percent rise in the death rate from drug overdoses, a statistic reported by the Centers for Dis- ease Control and Prevention. For men, life expectance went from 78.7 years to 78.6 years. The audience of mostly professionals from Nassau and Suffolk counties were there for a half-day conference called Bridging the Borders, where they learned not only statistics but about powerful new drugs on the streets, dangerous new web- sites where people can easily purchase legal and illegal drugs, and where to find help. A free overdose prevention training was offered at the end of the conference and each participant left with the knowl- edge needed to save a life—as well as their own naloxone kit. The training was given by staff from YES Community Counseling Center, based in Levittown and Mass- apequa. YES Executive Director Jamie Bogenshutz chairs a subcommittee of the Nassau County Heroin Prevention Task Force, which organized the conference. Singas said that her office has a three- pronged approach to the opioid crisis, which is funded mainly by money confis- cated in drug arrests: education, treatment and enforcement For education, Singas said, prosecutors visit Nassau schools a couple of times a month, boosting awareness of drug dan- gers and abuse recognition for school nurs- es and parents. As for treatment, she stressed that addiction is a disease and shouldn't be treated like a moral failing. Singas also devotes resources to a 24/7 facility that can pick up people who have been revived from an overdose, and are about to be discharged from the hospital. And at the facility — Maryhaven New Hope, in Freeport — addiction profession- als can immediately begin treatment. On the enforcement end, Singas spoke about several major \drug takedowns\ over the last year, during which Nassau police worked with the DBA and FBI to get to the source of the drugs coming in to the county. After she spoke, she told reporters that she has some legislation that could strengthen penalties for drug sales — espe- cially those that lead to an overdose death. Floral Park Police Officer John Groshan's presentation at the conference focused on the Dark Web, and the contra- band that any computer-literate person can easily order there. Sites on the Dark Web offer legal and illegal drugs, drug par- aphernalia, weapons, child pornography and even contract killings, among other things. Groshan also offered a number of sta- tistics. For one, the U.S. has more prescrip- tions written for pain medication — by far — than any other country In Germany, on the other hand, doctors only prescribe opi- ates for end-of-life care. Groshan said that deaths from fentanyl — a synthetic opioid up to 100 times stronger than Morphine — increased by 160 percent statewide, from 2015-16. And, he said, most young people still get their first prescription painkillers from friends, family members or neigh- bor's medicine cabinet. If you think you have a problem with any mind or mood-altering substance, you can call the Long Island Crisis center 24/7 at (516) 679-1111. Arrests • Aaron Alvarez, 28, from Freeport was arrested for driving while intoxicated and driving while ability impaired. Freeport Police responded to Woodcleft Avenue for reports of a car accident involving three cars. Officers saw Alvarez standing out- side his car. Officers determined Alvarez hit two parked cars with occupants in the cars. During further investigation, offi- cers determined Alvarez was driving while intoxicated and his ability impaired by drugs and placed under arrest on March 17. • Chucky Orellana, 22, from Hempstead, was arrested for driving while intoxicated and aggravated unlicensed operation. Freeport Police saw a car travelling at a high rate of speed on North Main Street and attempted to conduct a traffic stop. A brief pursuit ensued, and the car was stopped on North Main and Taylor streets in Roosevelt. During investigation, offi- cers determined Orellana was driving while intoxicated, driving with a revoked license and arrested him. Orellana was additionally found to have a bench war- rant for aggravated unlicensed operation and criminal possession of marijuana on March 15. • Freeport Police received a notification from Freeport's License Plate Reader Sys- tem of a stolen car entering the village. Officers located the car and conducted a traffic stop on West Sunrise Highway and North Ocean Avenue. Officers confirmed the vehicle was reported stolen and opera- tor Manuel Castro, 58, from Freeport, was arrested for criminal possession of stolen property. During investigation, officers also determined Castro had an open war- rant for aggravated unlicensed operation on March 14. • Rakim King, 24, from Westbury, was arrested for criminal possession of a forged instrument. Freeport Police saw parked car in a no parking area, Babylon Turnpike and Woodside Avenue. Officers detected an odor of marijuana, and dur- ing investigation found King in posses- sion of a fraudulent credit card and arrested King. During further investiga- tion, officers determined King had an open bench warrant from Nassau County for aggravated unlicensed operation. The unidentified passenger of the car was a 22-year-old man from Uniondale. He was also arrested and charged with unlawful possession of marijuana on March 13. • An unidentified Baldwin man, 53, was arrested for unlawful fleeing of a police officer and reckless driving. Freeport Police saw a car fail to signal on Indepen- dence Avenue and Utz Street. Officers attempted to conduct to stop the car, and a brief pursuit ensued. The vehicle was located on Jay Street, and during the investigation officers determined the man was driving the vehicle without a license and arrested. During further investiga- tion, officers recovered marijuana from him, and additionally charged with unlawful possession of marijuana on March 12. Burglary • A Freeport man reported an unknown person entered to his room in his home, a multi-dwelling house on North Bergen Place without his permission or authori- zation, removing various personal items on March 13. Larceny A Freeport man reported an unknown person took his wallet along with other property from two unlocked cars parked in the parking lot of his apartment build- ing on North Long Beach Avenue on March 13. Fraud • A Freeport man reported an unknown person gained access to his debit card information and a withdrawal was made in Arizona without his permission or authorization on March 16. People named in Crime Watch items as having been arrested and charged with violations or crimes are only suspected of committing those acts of which they are accused. They are all presumed to be innocent of those charges until and unless found guilty in a court of law. HOW TO REACH US Our offices are located at 2 Endo Blvd. Garden City, NY 11530 and are open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. 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