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Photo via Shutterstock/Inset courtesy of Nassau County District Attorney's office
Photo via Shutterstock/Inset courtesy of Nassau County District Attorney's office
Retired NYPD Narcotics Detective Karan Smith (inset) pleaded guilty on July 9 to her participation in a multimillion-dollar heroin distribution ring.

A Laurelton woman who once worked to keep drugs off of New York City streets admitted in court on Monday that she helped peddle them with her romantic partner.

Karan Young, 50, a retired member of the NYPD Narcotics Bureau, pleaded guilty on July 9 to a fourth-degree conspiracy charge. She faces 1 1/3 to four years behind bars at her sentencing on Aug. 27, according to Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas.

Prosecutors said that Young worked for Delta Airlines at LaGuardia Airport following her retirement from the NYPD. On the side, however, she helped her longtime boyfriend — Leigh Jackson (aka Chris) — and 12 others sell and distribute more than 23,000 heroin doses on the street; the illicit operation netted the ring $170,000 a week in income.

A 15-month joint investigation by the Nassau County Police Department and various local, state and federal law enforcement agencies revealed that Jackson, while based in Bushwick, Brooklyn, supplied heroin to other members of the ring. Dealers in Nassau, Queens and Brooklyn picked up packages of heroin from barber shops and auto body shops in Brooklyn, then distributed them in their respective areas.

Prosecutors said that Young collected money for Jackson. As part of her plea deal, she also admitted to providing Jackson with a mini NYPD shield and a Patrolman’s Benevolent Association card so he could avoid being picked up by law enforcement agents while transporting drugs.

“This retired narcotics detective knew the deadly impact of heroin, yet she helped her boyfriend profit from dealing poison in our communities,” Singas said in a July 10 statement. “Anyone who enables the drug traffickers who fuel this epidemic should expect to be met with aggressive prosecution.”

Jackson is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence after pleading guilty in December of 2017 to attempted operating as a major trafficker.

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