By Bill Parry
Dozens of federal agents and New York State Police officers carried out an early morning raid Tuesday at a luxury high-rise apartment building in Long Island City, resulting in the arrests of two people charged with synthetic drug trafficking, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark, N.J.
Law enforcement from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s Newark Field Division, some wearing white hazmat suits and gas masks, executed a search warrant at 45-41 Center Blvd. around 6 a.m. and swept a fourth-floor apartment that was allegedly converted into a drug lab, DEA said. They recovered PCP steroids, bath salts and a synthetic opioid drug called “U47700,” which is several times more potent than morphine, according to the authorities.
Brian Parker, 34, of Long Island City and Victoria Koleski, 29, of Farmingdale, N.J., were charged in the criminal complaint with conspiring to distribute controlled substance analogues. The two defendants were arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph A. Dickson in Newark federal court Tuesday.
Parker has two prior convictions for federal narcotics-related crimes, according to the Newark U.S. Attorney’s office. He allegedly manufactured and distributed controlled substances and other illegal chemicals through two Internet-based companies he oversaw. The Tuesday raid and arrests follows an investigation into the death of a 37-year-old Wisconsin man in 2016 after he consumed substances sold by Parker, according to the criminal complaint. The overdose death led authorities to investigate Parker’s websites, which revealed that he and others, including Koleski, conspired to send and receive packages for his narcotics distribution business, prosecutors said.
The conspirators received raw materials from China or elsewhere through the mail, repackaged and sent them to Parker, who then manufactured those materials into the chemicals that he sold online, court documents said. Afterwards, Parker transported the finished products back to his conspirators, who then shipped them to Parker’s customers, according to the criminal complaint.
From June 30 through July 5, Koleski shipped 218 parcels from a post office located in Farmingdale, N.J., many of which contained controlled substance analogues that Parker sold online, according to the criminal complaint. Each charge in the complaint carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office in Newark.
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr