The 2011 Father’s Day murders of four people at a Medford pharmacy cast a spotlight on the epidemic of prescription drug theft across Long Island and gave pharmacy workers incentive to arm themselves.
Nearly two years to the day, a Bellmore pharmacist fired shots at a would-be robber at Precision Pharmacy on Merrick Road Friday after a man demanded Ritalin and Dilaudid, Nassau County Police said.
Marc S. Gumpert, 43, of Freeport, had his rear tire shot out and was later arrested by police. The charges include first-degree robbery and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
Gumpert was arraigned over the weekend and held on $250,000 bail.
Authorities on Monday indicted nine people from New York and Virginia – including a Head of the Harbor couple – for smuggling illegal immigrants into the country and forcing them to work long hours for minimal pay at several Long Island 7-Eleven stores.
U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch, of the Eastern District of New York, announced the indictment of nine people Monday, in one of the largest criminal immigrant employment investigations ever conducted by the Department of Justice.
Federal agents raided about 10 7-Eleven stores around Suffolk County.
Lynch said that Farrukh Baig of Head of the Harbor, along with his wife Bushra and six others, were allegedly involved in a scheme to force illegal immigrant labor to work long hours in their 7-Eleven franchises, skirting labor laws by using stolen identities to mask the actual time their workers spent on the clock.
Compounding the crime, Baig then paid the illegal workers a fraction of their actual earnings and forced them to live in housing Baig and his family owned in exchange for rent taken out of their meager cash-only pay.
A similar but unrelated scheme was allegedly being perpetrated at the same time by 7-Eleven franchise owners Azhar Zia, who remains at large, and his partner Ummar Uppal. They owned 7-Eleven stores in Huntington and Islip Terrace.
The franchise owners were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, identity theft and harboring and concealing illegal aliens.
Facebook Used to Catch Thieves
Two teenagers stole an electric wheelchair valued at more than $17,000 from a Flower Hill residence June 8 before proceeding to ride the motorized device around the neighborhood until the battery died, according to Nassau Police.
In their investigation, police discovered pictures posted on Facebook, which helped identify the youths, both 14 years old.
The suspects, from East Hills and Flower Hill, were located and placed under arrest Monday without incident. Each is charged with burglary third degree and grand larceny third degree.
Sea Doo’s and Don’ts
A man speeding on a jet ski through Reynolds Channel in Long Beach early Saturday night was later found with cocaine, according to the Nassau County Police Marine Bureau.
David Gotterup, 33, of Oceanside, was seen speeding on a 2012 Sea Doo Jet Ski on the bay between Long Beach and Island Park. When police officers attempted to stop Gotterup, he tossed a clear Zip-lock bag into the water, police said. The officers were able to recover the bag from the water, which contained a white substance believed to be cocaine.
When police caught up with Gotterup, he was placed under arrest without incident. He was charged with fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance as well as numerous maritime boating violations.
Police: Basketball Foul
Two teens were arrested Wednesday in connection with an April assault and robbery at Field of Dreams Park in East Massapequa, Nassau Police said.
Cory Bulger, 18, of Wyandanch, and Ty Jovante Mitchell, 18, of Amityville, were arraigned Saturday in First District Court in Hempstead.
Police said a physical altercation during a basketball game April 14 at Field of Dreams saw an 18-year-old man punched and kicked several times and his backpack, “forcibly ripped out of his hand.”
The backpack contained wallets, cell phones and personal property from the victim and two other men, police said.
The victim suffered only abrasions.
Bulger is charged with three counts of second-degree robbery. Mitchell is charged with second-degree robbery, fourth-degree grand larceny and petit larceny.
A handcuffed man escaped from the back of a Suffolk Police cruiser late Sunday night, leading officers on a five-hour manhunt through Smithtown streets.
Suffolk County police said officers were bringing a man to Stony Brook University Hospital for a mental evaluation when they came across a motor vehicle accident shortly before midnight on Sunday.
One officer got out of the police cruiser to set road flares while the other officer went to help those injured in the crash. The handcuffed man got out of the car and started running, they said.
The missing man was found by police at approximately 5 a.m. attempting to enter his home.