The big pharmaceuticals are getting sued. Doctors are getting arrested. Dealers are getting charged with murder. A nationwide concerted effort to nix the illegal distribution of potentially fatal drugs is in full swing.
On September 13, Riverhead town police fired another salvo, picking up a former employee at a Riverhead pharmacy for allegedly stealing narcotic pain pills.
Amber Maltese, 26, an employee of CVS Pharmacy at 1140 Old County Road, allegedly acting in concert with her boyfriend Tijay Clairborne, 28, removed hydrocodone-acetaminophen pills on May 25 and oxycodone-acetaminophen pills on May 28, “for the purpose of illegal resale in the community,” police said.
Maltese was arrested on July 19 on charges of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, fourth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, and two counts of petty larceny, police said.
Clairborne was arrested on September 13 on charges of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, and two counts of fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property in the fifth degree, according to police.
The Riverhead Town Police Department, the Suffolk County District Attorney’s East End Drug Task Force, and the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Diversion Unit investigated the theft and subsequent sale of the prescription pills, according to the press release. Both Maltese and Clairborne were arraigned on their arrest dates and released on their own recognizance, police said.
In other Riverhead police beat news, Suffolk County Crime Stoppers and Riverhead town police are seeking the public’s help to identify and locate two women who they say used stolen credit cards at a Riverhead store in July.
In-store surveillance camera indicate the two women made more than $4000 worth of purchases at Home Depot on Old Country Road on the afternoon of July 3. Police released surveillance camera images of the two suspects.
Nicholas Soullas, 41, of Jamesport, was arrested on September 14 around 8:57 PM for first-offense driving while intoxicated, criminal possession of a controlled substance, refusal to take a breath test, and leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident. Soullas, who was involved in a two-car collision on Sound Avenue in Mattituck, fled the scene and was found in a nearby yard by an officer and his canine. He was determined to be intoxicated and in possession of cocaine, police said.
Yeri Esquivel-Reyes, 32, of Greenport, was arrested Thursday, September 5, around 9:40 PM and charged with DWI and fleeing the scene of a motor vehicle accident.
Police said Esquivel-Reyes was traveling eastbound on Route 25 at a high rate of speed, lost control, left the roadway and struck a PSEG pole on the south side of the roadway, in the area of Bailey Avenue in Greenport. Police said Esquivel-Reyes fled the scene on foot and was found by police officers soon after, and they said the accused exhibited the classic signs of inebriation.
A DWI conviction in the last 10 years pumped the latest charge up to a felony. Esquivel-Reyes was not injured, according to reports.
In another incident reported at the same date and time, Esquivel-Reyes allegedly passed a vehicle on the left, crossing into a double yellow no-passing zone on Route 48 near Carole Road in Southold. He sideswiped the vehicle of a Greenport woman who was also headed eastbound, police said. No one was injured in that encounter.