Four Ridgewood men among 17 busted for their roles in a citywide drug distribution ring

Photos courtesy of the Brooklyn District Attorney's office

Seventeen men, including four from Ridgewood, have been charged for running a heroin and cocaine trafficking ring throughout the city.

The defendants, including Ridgewood residents Luis Figueroa, 55, Julio Figueroa, 49, Ricky Figueroa, 53 and Raul Muniz, 52, were indicted on various charges of second-degree conspiracy, operating as a major trafficker, second-degree money laundering, first-, second- and third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance; second- and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and second- and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon and other related charges.

Fifteen defendants were arraigned in Brooklyn on Oct. 9-10, with two more awaiting arraignment. Twelve of the defendants were charged with second-degree conspiracy, which is punishable by up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

Between July 2017 and April 2018, according to the charges, the defendants conspired to possess and sell heroin and cocaine in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Manhattan. The operation was allegedly led by Ezequiel Reyes, who was based in York, Pennsylvania.

Reyes, according to charges, allegedly worked with a wholesale distributor to supply many of the other defendants with heroin and cocaine to be resold on the streets.

It is alleged that Reyes also relied on numerous individuals to supply the defendants with drugs, including 59-year-old Noe Lopez, who is currently serving time at the Great Plains Correctional Institution in Hinton, Oklahoma, and an individual residing in Puerto Rico.

Lopez was sentenced to 240 months in prison and forfeited $15 million after he pleaded guilty to conspiring to possess with intent to distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana and five kilograms of cocaine and laundering of monetary instruments in 2005 in Texas. It is alleged that Lopez used a contraband cellphone to arrange large-scale sales of narcotics to Reyes.

It is also alleged that another individual also arranged for shipments of narcotics to Reyes from Puerto Rico.

Throughout the course of the investigation, over 7 kilograms of cocaine and 4 kilograms of heroin were recovered during police searches, which includes a search of Luis Figueroa’s home. One kilo brick bore the emblem of the New York Yankees, while another kilo was concealed in a battery backup device.

Police also recovered over 1,800 glassine envelopes of heroin and seven firearms from his residence.

“These defendants allegedly profited off the misery of drug addiction, particularly the growing heroin epidemic that’s taking the lives of too many young people who misuse this deadly and highly addictive drug,” said Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez. “I am committed to prosecuting major suppliers such as the ringleaders in this case to keep them from peddling narcotics in our communities.”

A kilogram of heroin recovered in Luis Figueroa's residence
A kilogram of heroin recovered in Luis Figueroa’s residence
A kilogram of cocaine, hidden inside a battery backup device, that was mailed from Puerto Rico to Pennsylvani
A kilogram of cocaine, hidden inside a battery backup device,
that was mailed from Puerto Rico to Pennsylvania

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