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Shelter Island Police make drug bust in the Bronx

REPORTER FILE PHOTO |

REPORTER FILE PHOTO

The Shelter Island Police Department, leading an investigation assisted by multiple law enforcement agencies, arrested a Bronx man at his home Monday night on felony drug charges.

Fred J. Conforto, 41, was taken into custody and brought to the Island where he was arraigned in Shelter Island Justice Court.

He was charged with three counts of the criminal sale of controlled substances and was then remanded to the Suffolk County Correction Facility in Riverside.

Mr. Conforto had been identified in the investigation led by Detective Sergeant Jack Thilberg as one of the suppliers of cocaine, oxycodone and other narcotics sold on Shelter Island and other  East End communities.

The Shelter Island Police Department was assisted by several federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Secret Service. Also assisting were the New York State Police, the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office and the Southold Police Department.

The arrest Monday, according to police sources — is part of an investigation that included the arrests of three Islanders, Alec Walker, Andrew Eklund and Zachary Reylek in mid-March 2015.

According to the police, those arrests last year came out of an investigation centering on powerful prescription and nonprescription drugs sent to the Island through the U.S. Mail. The investigation also uncovered use of black market Internet sites — the so-called “Dark Web,” or sites difficult to trace — counterfeit currency and the use of Bitcoin, the digital currency, according to the police.

Mr. Walker, 29, of Shelter Island, was arrested on March 12, 2015 and charged with multiple counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, a count of possession with intent to sell and a count of attempted possession with intent to sell. He was arraigned in Justice Court where bail was set at $5,000. Subsequently, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office, Mr. Walker pleaded guilty to criminal possession on May 7, 2015  and received a sentence of five year’s probation on July 10, 2015.

Island resident Zachary Reylek, 26, was arrested four days later and charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance. Mr. Reylek was arraigned in Justice Court where bail was set at $1,000. He is due to appear in Suffolk County Criminal Court on February 25.

On March 19, 2015, Andrew Eklund, 27, of Shelter Island was arrested and charged with four counts of possession of a criminal substance and possession of forged documents, which the police said was counterfeit currency. Mr. Eklund was arraigned in Justice Court where bail was set at $1,000. He is due in county court on March 14.

In the case against the three young men, more than 25 packages containing narcotics were sent to the Island through the U.S. Mail, including fentanyl, alprazolam, cocaine and oxycodone, police said. Prescription drugs in tablet form were taken into evidence along with non-prescription narcotics in powder form. Electronic messaging and payments, including money orders and other fund transfers, were used to order and pay for the drugs from distributors off-Island, according to the police.

Police said Thursday that the investigation remains active.

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