By Bill Parry
The alleged ringleader of a deadly Queens drug ring and three co-conspirators were arrested and indicted last week in connection with sales of heroin, fentanyl and cocaine after a year-long investigation by law enforcement, the city’s special narcotics prosecutor said.
Police conducted a court-authorized search at the home of Dionne “Slay” Sharrow, 35, a resident of the Powerhouse luxury condominium at 2-17 51st Ave. in Long Island City. Among the property seized was a loaded firearm, nearly $590,000 in cash and a cherry red 2015 Lamborghini parked in the building’s garage, according to the special narcotics office.
Police had been monitoring the crew as part of a investigation prompted by the fatal overdose of a 26-year-old Brooklyn man in 2016 due to a mixture of heroin and fentanyl, a synthetic opioid which is nearly 50 times stronger than heroin and is largely responsible for the overdose deaths in New York City. The investigation linked the Queens crew to the overdose of a 42-year-old Kew Gardens man last May.
Sharrow; Pablo Vallecillo, 39 of Jamaica; Antonio Lopez, 40, of Howard Beach; and Jason Keating, 41, of Jamaica, were charged with multiple counts of conspiracy and criminal sale of a controlled substance, according to New York City’s Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan. The office serves the district attorneys in the five boroughs.
“The escalating toll of overdose and addiction has become unbearable to all but the drug dealers and traffickers who peddle death in $10 bags,” Brennan said. “As this investigation demonstrates, drug crimes are far from victimless and we will be relentless in pursuing those who profit from destroying the lives of others.”
Sharrow is accused of supplying heroin, fentanyl and cocaine to the three other suspects, who in turn allegedly sold the lethal drugs to dealers in Queens, Brooklyn, Orange and Ulster counties, according to the charges. Police conducted a search of a Bath Beach, Brooklyn apartment Sharrow used as a “drug palace” and found 22 pounds of narcotics stashed in couches, an oven and other hiding spots, Brennan said.
Vallecillo was arrested at the location after police watched him enter with a backpack full of cash. Lopez and Keating were arrested near their homes, where police recovered a shotgun, two loaded pistols and hundreds of heroin-filled glassine envelopes prepared for distribution, according to the charges.
The Queens DA’s office reviewed and submitted wiretap applications for court authorization during the investigation.
“Heroin, unfortunately, has made a deadly comeback in New York City and in the surrounding suburbs,” Queens DA Richard Brown said. “While homicides and vehicular deaths have decreased in recent years, sadly opioid overdoses have skyrocketed. We are witnessing heroin being mixed with the synthetic drug fentanyl, which is up to 50 times more potent than heroin alone. My office will continue to work diligently with our law enforcement partners to do everything possible to stop this epidemic and take dealers who peddle heroin laced with fentanyl and other deadly drugs off the streets of our communities.”
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr