“Major” drug dealer in Hempstead sentenced to 12 years in prison

A Uniondale man who authorities said was a “wholesaler” in a Hempstead drug ring was sentenced to 12 years in prison Monday.

Nassau County District Attorney Anne Donnelly said in a statement that as part of a long-term investigation called “Operation Honeycomb,” Orlando Ramsay, 49, was stopped by Nassau County police during a traffic stop on Oct. 17, 2020, while he was “en route” to deliver narcotics to a co-defendant in the case. Police seized approximately 350 grams of cocaine from the vehicle at the time, prosecutors said.

The following day, a search warrant was executed on Ramsay’s apartment. The district attorney’s office said police seized approximately 1.5 kilograms of cocaine, one kilogram of heroin, 200 grams of morphine and 12 grams of fentanyl, as well as “various” drug paraphernalia, four firearms (including three loaded handguns and a shotgun) and $185,000 in cash.

The street value of the seized drugs is approximately $500,000, Donnelly said in a statement. To be identified as a “wholesale dealer,” the value of the drugs possessed or sold must exceed $75,000 within six months or less.

Prosecutors said Ramsay’s arrest stemmed from an investigation that began in October 2019 – an investigation by the district attorney’s office, the FBI, the Long Island Gang Task Force and members of the Long Island Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives into “an increase in violence and drug trafficking” in the Hempstead area.

According to prosecutors, those investigations included “several drug and weapons purchases” that led to arrest warrants for electronic wiretapping in February 2020 – measures prosecutors said were necessary to identify “wholesale drug dealers” operating in the area.

Ramsay was one of 40 defendants in the sprawling case, prosecutors said, and many of them have already been convicted. Ramsay was also sentenced to five years’ probation after his release.

Ramsay pleaded guilty to 23 charges before Judge Teresa Corrigan on May 21, including being a major drug trafficker and other drug and weapons offenses.

Prosecutors allege that drugs – including heroin, fentanyl and cocaine – were smuggled from California, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts, and even Puerto Rico. Dealers were also lured by rising street prices due to shortages resulting from the COVID pandemic, prosecutors said, as the price of cocaine rose from $32,000 per kilogram to $55,000 per kilogram – dealers often mix cocaine and heroin with fentanyl “to increase the potency of their supply.”