Long Island Convenience Store Owner and Clerks Arrested For Drug Trafficking
Defendants Allegedly Sold Thousands of Bags of K2 Out of Convenience Store in Medford
A four-count indictment was unsealed today in federal court in Central Islip, New York, charging Osman Ak, Murat Ak and Mehmet Akpinar, with drug trafficking conspiracy and substantive acts of drug trafficking in connection with their sale of controlled substances from 2013 through 2015 at Eyup Gas & Convenience Store, Inc. d/b/a VS Food Mart, in Medford, New York, owned by Osman Ak. The defendants were arrested this morning and their initial appearances are scheduled for this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Steven I. Locke.
The charges were announced by Bridget M. Rohde, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, James J. Hunt, Special Agent-in-Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), New York Division, and George Beach, Superintendent, New York State Police (NYSP).
“As alleged, the defendants sold K2 over the counter of a convenience store, putting the community at risk to the dangers associated with this synthetic hallucinogen and its unpredictable side-effects,” stated Acting United States Attorney Rohde. “This Office and our law enforcement partners will work tirelessly to hold traffickers like the Aks and Akpinar accountable for their actions, which threaten public safety.”
Ms. Rohde extended her grateful appreciation to the DEA and the NYSP for their assistance in this case.
“Known on the streets as K2 or synthetic marijuana, this dangerous drug can cause brain damage, hallucinations, seizures and death,” stated Special Agent-in-Charge Hunt. “Parents should be forewarned that synthetic cannabinoid traffickers package their poison to resemble legal goods, which in this case, it is alleged that the defendants brazenly peddled to users in their convenience store.”
“The strong partnership the State Police has with both federal and local law enforcement agencies is key to combatting the distribution of illegal synthetic drugs in New York State,” stated NYSP Superintendent Beach. “These drugs are lethal with unpredictable side effects, yet are marketed and sold as apparently legal substances in colorful packages that appeal to young people. As these arrests show, New York State and its law enforcement partners do not tolerate those who seek to traffic illicit and harmful synthetic drugs.”
If convicted, the defendants face up to 20 years’ imprisonment on the drug trafficking conspiracy charge, as well as on the drug trafficking charges. The United States is also pursuing forfeiture of the convenience store where the alleged activity took place.
An indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Long Island Criminal Division. Assistant United States Attorneys Charles P. Kelly and Madeline O’Connor are in charge of the prosecution.
Holbrook, New York
Holbrook, New York
Nesconset, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 17-CR-527 ( DRH )