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Ozone Park man accused of running cocaine ring from home, Howard Beach stash house: Feds

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Federal agents from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security smashed an Ozone Park-based cocaine network on Thursday, Jan. 20, in connection with alleged narcotics distribution in Queens and Long Island. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York)

Federal agents from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security smashed an Ozone Park-based cocaine network on Thursday, Jan. 20, with raids in Queens, Nassau and Dutchess counties in connection with narcotics distribution in Queens and Long Island, according to federal prosecutors.

Arcangelo Cafano, 45, was taken into custody at his Ozone Park home after agents executed a court-authorized search warrant that turned up approximately 500 grams of cocaine in an entertainment center, 100 grams of crack cocaine as well as a tin of yellow powder that appeared to be fentanyl. Agents also discovered a semiautomatic 9mm firearm with a defaced serial number and two magazines.

At the same time, federal agents raided the Westbury, Long Island home of Jose Costa, 42, where a quantity of narcotics was recovered along with a .45-caliber handgun and a .32-caliber derringer.

Since at least December 2020, Cafano and Costa and their three co-conspirators allegedly imported cocaine from Mexico and other sources and operated an “extensive drug trafficking operation” serving customers in the New York area and surrounding states. Costa was the alleged ringleader while Cafano ran the operation out of his Ozone Park home and a stash house in Howard Beach, where drugs and cash were stockpiled, according to the feds.

The investigation was based on court-authorized wiretaps. The group of co-conspirators known as the Costa Organization, made sales to a cooperating witness, who was operating at the direction of law enforcement, between December 2020 through 2021. Agents recovered approximately 1.7 kilograms of cocaine from the cooperating witness, all of which was sourced to the Costa Organization.

During the course of the conspiracy, the network amassed millions of dollars in narcotics proceeds, which were used to purchase high-value real estate and luxury vehicles, according to prosecutors.

When he was arrested, a 2021 Mercedes Benz GL5 vehicle was seized from Costa’s Westbury home. Costa also amassed four properties in New York and New Jersey, valued at approximately $2 million, and he maintained more than $1 million in bank accounts under his custody and control.

Federal agents raided the Howard Beach stash house on Jan. 20 and recovered approximately three kilograms of a substance that field-tested positive for cocaine. Accordingly, the quantity of cocaine seized by the feds on Jan. 20 alone amounts to more than six kilograms.

U.S. Attorney Breon Peace of the Eastern District of New York petitioned the court requesting a permanent order of detention beheld against Costa and Cafaro for distributing “kilogram quantities of cocaine to customers in the New York area and surrounding states.”

While neither Costa or Cafaro had “extensive criminal history,” according to Peace, they both maintained deadly weapons in their homes in connection with their drug trafficking business and that their release would “seriously jeopardize the safety of the community.”

Cafaro, Costa and their three co-conspirators appeared in Brooklyn federal court last week.

Costa was released on a $3 million bond over the government’s objection and Cafaro was released on a $250,000 bond over the government’s objection. Both face decades in prison if convicted at their pending trials.

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