Officials busted a man who allegedly peddled narcotics out of a daycare center on Long Island along with more than three dozen individuals involved in an alleged drug trafficking ring, according to the Nassau County District Attorney.
Lex Lloyd is believed to have packaged and distributed cocaine and oxycodone from his residence on Pierson Avenue in Hempstead, which also doubled as an illegal daycare center, District Attorney Madeline Singas announced in a press conference this afternoon.
It’s unclear what Lloyd’s connection to the daycare was but investigators said they recovered drugs, narcotic presses and guns, steps from where children were being cared for.
Lex’s co-defendant, who has not yet been arrested, also allegedly used a Queens daycare center in Rosedale as a drug den. The location of that daycare has not yet been disclosed.
“The pictures from the home are truly disturbing,” Singas said of the Hempstead childcare facility.
“In what appears to be a fully functional daycare center with children’s furniture, toys, posters; this defendant was mixing drugs. Think about that, children were eating, playing and being cared for in the same space where cocaine was being packaged.”
“Parents trying to work through the pandemic left their children at a daycare and this is what their kids were exposed to. It’s horrifying to me as a parent and as the district attorney,” Singas added.
“It’s a very disturbing thought,” said Eric Murray, a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). “We as investigators are just happy that we were able to remove these firearms from homes where children were placed for safety.”
Lloyd, 24-years-old, has been indicted for criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree and endangering the welfare of a child.
He was also charged with attempted murder in an unrelated case in February.
During this 18 month joint investigation dubbed “Operation Honeycomb,” officials seized over $2.7 million worth of narcotics and 38 guns, including several assault rifles.
Kilos of cocaine were being trafficked into Long Island from as far away as Puerto Rico and California. At least one defendant is alleged to have used the mail to deliver three kilos of coke.
One overdose death in Pennsylvania is believed to be connected to this ring.
Eight major drug traffickers who allegedly sold more than $75,000 worth of drugs in a six month period were also arrested.
The defendants have been identified as Able McTootle, Eric Butler, Willy Matias, Allen Evans, Eric Poston, Matthew Williams, Orlando Ramsay and Rodney Highsmith. Officials said they rounded up a total of 40 drug traffickers and dealers.
“It’s a very dangerous crew,” Murray said. “We took down some very significant players as far as criminal activity and violence throughout Hempstead and Long Island.”
During the pandemic, the price of cocaine soared from $32,000 per kilogram to a high of $55,000 a kilo in August as demand outpaced supply.
“The results of this multi-agency partnership and collaboration strikes a heavy blow to the narcotics infrastructure in Nassau County,” Singas said.