Says Current DA Had Numerous Opportunities to Indict Him for Felony Drug Possession, But Failed to Do So
Last week, Suffolk District Attorney Tim Sini held a press conference to congratulate himself for the arrest of Justin Smith and claimed that Mr. Smith bears responsibility in the overdose deaths that occurred in the east end of Long Island between August 5 and August 13, 2021. According to reports, in total, there were nine overdoses and six deaths as a result of drug dealers mixing fentanyl with cocaine.
While Mr. Smith certainly bears criminal responsibility, Mr. Sini, as usual, omitted numerous facts from his press conference that prove that, if Mr. Sini was doing his job, these tragic deaths would never have occurred. This is what really happened:
Justin K. Smith was first arrested in 1995. Ray Tierney prosecuted Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith pleaded guilty to the robbery and remained in jail for 12 years, getting paroled in May of 2007.
In November 2007, Mr. Smith was once again arrested and charged with felony possession of narcotics with intent to sell. Once again, he pleaded guilty and received a sentence of three years’ incarceration. (This second felony conviction is important because it makes Mr. Smith a second felony offender under existing New York state law. This means that, if Mr. Smith is convicted of a third felony, the prosecutor can seek a very heavy sentence, up to and including a sentence of life imprisonment.)
In October 2020, the East End Drug Task Force was able to make four separate felony drug buys involving Mr. Smith. Any one of these drug buys, if indicted by the District Attorney, would have been enough to charge Smith with a felony and he would be looking at life imprisonment. The District Attorney did not indict Mr. Smith on the prior drug sales.
In February 2021, a full six months before those six victims on the east end lost their lives, the District Attorney executed a search warrant at a residence controlled by Mr. Smith and recovered felony amounts of cocaine, crack cocaine and fentanyl. Again, the District Attorney did not indict the case.
**A drug dealer mixes fentanyl with drugs such as crack and powdered cocaine. Cocaine is expensive. Drug dealers will buy cocaine and look to increase their profits by adding non-narcotic fillers to the cocaine, such as mannitol and baby powder, so they can sell more of it. Of course, stretching out the cocaine in this manner makes it less potent, so the drug dealers will add the relatively cheap fentanyl to the mixture to fool their customers into thinking they are not getting ripped off. Fentanyl is a powerful end-of-life narcotic that is highly addictive and very dangerous. In fact, it is so dangerous that it is usually only prescribed to terminally ill patients. One slight misstep in the mixture could lead to a string of overdoses, which is exactly what happened on the east end six months later in August.
Last week, DA Tim Sini held a self-congratulatory press conference to announce the arrest of Justin K. Smith (and a co-defendant) in the case of six fatal overdoses on Long Island’s East End.
He failed to mention that, in October 2020, Mr. Smith had been arrested on multiple felony counts for selling drugs, including fentanyl. Mr. Sini’s office failed to indict him and released him the same day without bail.
Again, in February 2021, they executed a search warrant at a residence controlled by Mr. Smith, recovering felony amounts of cocaine, crack cocaine and fentanyl. “Mr. Sini’s office failed again to indict Mr. Smith and he was released,” said Ray Tierney, Republican and Conservative candidate for Suffolk County District Attorney. “The senseless loss of six lives was the result of DA Tim Sini’s incompetence. Mr. Smith should have been in prison and not on the streets. I am setting the record straight today because Mr. Sini routinely omits key facts during press conferences and doesn’t take questions.”
Mr. Tierney added: “My heart goes out to the families of the victims. The influence of drugs attacks our children and our communities. It’s one thing to hold press conferences to announce arrests, but it’s an entirely another thing to do the job you’ve been elected to do as District Attorney. It’s style over substance, and Suffolk residents continue to pay the price.”
Ray Tierney, Republican and Conservative candidate for Suffolk County District Attorney, is available to speak on the arrests of two drug dealers in connection with nine overdoses in the towns of Southold and Shelter Island. The victims overdosed on cocaine laced with fentanyl, resulting in six deaths.
“Mr. Sini is celebrating the arrests of two street-level drug dealers related to the overdose deaths of six individuals, but, once again, he is reacting to a mass tragedy rather than working to prevent one,” Mr. Tierney said. “Of course, our DA will not discuss the flood of fentanyl coming through our unprotected Southern border and directly to our streets, which is responsible for this tragedy in the first place. The DA’s drug enforcement policy is a tremendous failure, as evidenced by the number of opioid overdoses, which continue to spiral out of control. Instead of reacting to tragedy by arresting street-level dealers, he should follow the evidence to the kingpins who are making a fortune off poisoning our citizens by importing massive amounts of dangerous drugs into our county. Until that happens, tragedies like this will continue to occur. As an experienced prosecutor, I took down major narcotics traffickers, including the boss of the notorious Colombian Norte del Valle drug cartel, who alone was responsible for importing over 80 tons of cocaine into the United States. As DA, I will spearhead the investigations, prosecutions and convictions of all those kingpins responsible for bringing these dangerous drugs into our communities, no matter where they operate. Unfortunately, until that happens, the carnage will continue. No amount of new legislation can counteract the ill effects of an incompetent and ineffective District Attorney.”
Ray Tierney, the Republican candidate for Suffolk County District Attorney, has once again condemned the actions of former Governor Andrew Cuomo while calling out his opponent, Tim Sini, for remaining silent in the face of mounting evidence of sexual harassment, inappropriate behavior and guilt.
In a statement today, Mr. Tierney said, “Today marks the end of an era in New York politics. Governor Cuomo has resigned. Notwithstanding Cuomo’s blatant attacks on so many innocent women, his dangerous actions that have taken so many Suffolk County lives in our nursing homes, and his support of far-left policies that have created record-breaking crime rates, Tim Sini has been his loyal supporter throughout, and, in so doing, has failed to adequately protect the people of Suffolk County.”
With both the resignation of Governor Cuomo and the sentencing of former District Attorney Tom Spota and his top aide Christopher McPartland, Mr. Tierney goes on to say, “Today’s events, both in Albany and in the federal courthouse in Central Islip, while encouraging, are not enough. Those in positions of power must speak truth to power. Tim Sini has never spoken up, and he’s been richly rewarded for it. I have spent my career fighting for the citizens of Suffolk. That fight is not over!”
Tierney has stated throughout his campaign that he will investigate any of Cuomo’s policies that inflicted harm on the people of Suffolk County.
Mr. Tierney’s prosecutorial career spans more than 26 years. After graduating from St. John’s Law School, he began his career in the Suffolk DA’s office, prosecuting major crimes involving sexual assault, domestic violence, child exploitation, arson, kidnapping and murder. He continued his career as an Assistant U.S. Attorney and later as a Brooklyn Executive Assistant DA, wherein he was in charge of the Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau, Crime Strategies Unit and Body Worn Camera Unit and was responsible for the investigation and prosecution of violent street gangs.
Mr. Tierney has received numerous honors for his work in prosecuting MS-13 and Colombian drug cartel bosses. He was also personally recognized by the President of the United States at the 2018 State of the Union address.
Upon learning of today’s sentencing of former Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota and his former aide, Christopher McPartland, Suffolk DA candidate Ray Tierney commented on the DA’s office and its longstanding pattern of political corruption.
“The DA’s office that operated under Thomas Spota and is currently run by Tim Sini has been tainted by political corruption,” Mr. Tierney said. “As DA, I will seek comprehensive reform in Suffolk County on how we review and prosecute alleged abuses and crimes committed by elected officials and by members of law enforcement. Our system clearly failed with respect to the actions of James Burke that led to the conviction of the former DA and his assistant. It is a sad day for law enforcement.”
Mr. Tierney also reflected on his approach if he is elected DA in November. “I will bring integrity in a DA’s office that has been plagued for decades by politically motivated prosecutions,” he said. “When it comes to enforcing the law, there is no room for politics or the influence of self-serving interests. The residents of Suffolk County demand no less from this most sacred elected office.”
Earlier today, on July 29, 2021, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Suffolk County Acting Police Commissioner Stuart Cameron held a press conference to recognize First Precinct Police Officer Lucas McDonald, who was injured during the arrest of Iver Whittingham on July 27 in the Village of Babylon. Officer McDonald was injured from a struggle that ensued when he recovered a loaded weapon from Whittingham’s fanny pack, after stopping him to issue a Village of Babylon summons for allegedly urinating in public.
What County Executive Bellone and Acting Commissioner Cameron failed to report was that Mr. Whittingham had been previously arrested in Suffolk County on felony firearm possession charges, which should have mandated a mandatory upstate prison sentence, but was allowed to plead to a misdemeanor. This revolving door of justice caused Mr. Whittingham to be released early, whereupon he promptly obtained yet another illegal gun, thus endangering not only Police Officer McDonald, but the residents walking on the streets of Babylon Village as well.
During a press conference held earlier today with New York State Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt and members of the Senate delegation from Suffolk County to discuss spiraling crime rates throughout the state, New York City and Suffolk, including the impact of bail reform, Mr. Tierney discussed the Whittingham case. He said, in part: “Rather than serving upstate time, he [Mr. Whittingham] was given the opportunity to plead to a misdemeanor and he was promptly released and allowed to once again carry a gun, where, thank God, he was arrested by a Suffolk County Police Officer. It’s a situation that should never happen. We need to think of both components: bail and prosecution.”
PATCHOGUE, NY — New York State Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt today was joined by Senators Phil Boyle, Alexis Weik, and Mario Mattera, as well as Suffolk County District Attorney Candidate Ray Tierney to blast the rise in violent crime under One-Party Rule, and offer commonsense solutions to reverse the declining quality of life in communities throughout the state. The Senators joined DA candidate Tierney in Suffolk County, which has seen one of its most deadly months on record in July with nine murders, including a gang-related triple homicide last week, as well as a recent gang-related broad daylight murder in downtown Port Jefferson.
“Since 2019, countless New Yorkers have been needlessly and repeatedly victimized by One-Party Rule’s failed criminal justice ‘reforms’ and rhetoric. Governor Cuomo and his Democrat allies in the Legislature have made it their priority to reward violent criminals and punish our brave members of law enforcement. What have their extreme pro-criminal, anti-police policies and politics gotten us? More shootings. More assaults. Even more hate crimes. The numbers don’t lie — under all-Democrat control, Long Island has become less safe. My Republican colleagues and I are proud to be strong voices against this madness. To save our state, it’s time to restore public safety and common sense,” said Senate Republican Leader Ortt.
“Senate Democrats’ so-called bail reform has been a total disaster. Violent criminals and predators are being turned loose and this has created a public safety nightmare. It’s time for common sense to make a comeback in the Empire State and that starts by working with our brave law enforcement officers to support their efforts to keep our families safe. We cannot let radical New York City progressives defund our local police and give violent criminals a get-out-of-jail free card with their so-called elder parole scheme,” said Senator Pam Helming, Chairwoman of the Senate Republican Campaign Committee.
“The numbers don’t lie. We are experiencing unprecedented increases in violent crimes throughout New York State. The Far-Left Democrats who control Albany will never admit that the cause of these increases is their so-called Bail ‘Reform’ Laws, so Senator Ortt’s call for a professional study is exactly what is needed to prove what many of us already know,” said Senator Phil Boyle.
“One-party control in Albany has continued to advance a pro-criminal, anti-law enforcement and anti-victim agenda, which has made our communities less safe. I am proud to stand with my Senate Republican colleagues in advancing several packages of bills that support law enforcement, reform our state’s parole board, and provide justice to victims,” said Senator Alexis Weik.
“The continuing efforts of Democrats to put the rights of criminals ahead of our families are clearly endangering our communities. From releasing criminals to taking tools away from our police, this idealistic crusade has led to an unmistakable increase in crime and we stand together today to offer real solutions that will protect our residents and the future of our state,” said Senator Mario Mattera.
“I am confident that, once completed, this study will show what our men and women in law enforcement already know: New York’s streets and communities are more dangerous and the job of police officer is more difficult because of the reckless and radical policies passed by Senate Democrats. We must repeal cashless bail and stop further pro-crime policies from becoming law if we are to stem the tide of rising lawlessness and make New York a safer home for everyone,” said Senator Anthony Palumbo.
“We need to reverse the effects bail reform and onerous discovery rules are having on the criminal justice system, but we also need to do a better job prosecuting gun-related crimes. Recent events and statistics show that violent crime has come to a community near you. The daylight shootings that happened here in Port Jefferson in March and the triple homicide in Farmingville last Friday are symbolic of how crime rates have skyrocketed throughout the State and Suffolk County. The residents of Suffolk should be worried,” said Ray Tierney, Republican Candidate for Suffolk County District Attorney.
Last week, Republican Leader Ortt sent a letter to the Office of Court Administration and New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services requesting a thorough and transparent analysis of data regarding bail reform.
The timing of the recent surge in shootings and violent crime directly correlates with the passage of bail and other criminal justice “reforms” in 2019. Since the start of 2020, shootings, murders, assaults and other violent crimes have skyrocketed all across the state. In 2020, the homicide rate rose by 55.56 percent in Nassau County and 25 percent in Suffolk County over 2019.
Other “reforms” implemented in recent years include:
●The disbanding of the NYPD’s “anti-crime” unit;
●A billion-dollar cut to New York City police funding, among other “defund the police” actions taken throughout the state;
●“Progressive” District Attorneys refusing to prosecute quality-of-life offenses such as public urination;
●An overall relaxation on enforcing prostitution and street vending laws in major metro areas; and
●An overall pro-criminal, anti-police climate fostered under all-Democrat rule.
Suffolk District Attorney candidate Ray Tierney, a career prosecutor with 26 years of experience, described how at the same time of this month’s shootings, The Suffolk DA’s office had allowed over 100 criminals who were arrested, but not indicted, for illegal gun possession to go free. He also discussed the need for leadership in the District Attorney’s office to coordinate the County’s anti-gang efforts.
Senate Republicans this year have offered an alternative criminal justice agenda that is truly geared towards restoring commonsense, public safety and putting law-abiding citizens first in New York. This initiative includes:
●The “Protect Those Who Protect Us” package unveiledin May;
●A Parole Reform package of bills unveiledlast month; and
●The “Victims’ Justice Agenda” unveiled earlier this month.
“One-Party Rule has been a one-way ticket to a public safety crisis. Democrats like to say they speak for impoverished and disadvantaged communities with their policies and political positions — but, far too often, these communities are made victims by their failed “reforms” and lip service. The results speak for themselves. It’s past time for voters to send a message to politicians who would sacrifice public safety in the name of ‘wokeness,’” concluded Leader Ortt.
DA Tim Sini’s Failed Leadership Part of the Problem
Ray Tierney, Republican candidate for Suffolk County District Attorney, says he supports New York State Senator Phil Boyle’s demands to bring in a special prosecutor to look into the murders that occurred at Gilgo Beach and remain unsolved to this day.
On June 28, Senator Boyle held a press conference at Oak Beach County Park to demand answers from Suffolk County officials regarding the investigation into victims found near Gilgo Beach. At the press conference, he spoke about the criminal case involving former Suffolk County Police Chief James Burke and what happened the following three years was “a coverup,” not just by Mr. Burke, but by then-District Attorney Thomas Spota and Mr. Spota’s aide, Christopher McPartland.
Senator Boyle criticized Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, a Democrat, for failing to immediately fire Mr. Burke. He also said that the residents of Suffolk County need to know whether or not Mr. Burke was involved and if the police did enough in its investigation of the murders. Mr. Tierney said the political corruption within law enforcement and county government, along with the lack of supervision of Mr. Burke, has contributed to these murders going unsolved.
“This is what happens when you hand key positions in county government to a political operative like Tim Sini,” Mr. Tierney said. “Jimmy Burke was able to flourish due to the culture of corruption that exists in Suffolk County government. Tim Sini contributed to that culture of corruption when, as Deputy County Executive in charge of Public Safety, he refused to act for 16 months and allowed Mr. Burke, Mr. Spota and Mr. McPartland to operate with impunity within the county. His reward for such negligent inaction was an appointment as SCPD commissioner, a job for which he was grossly unqualified.”
Mr. Tierney said that, now that he is District Attorney, Mr. Sini has systematically eliminated all outside oversight into the investigation of these murders, which is particularly egregious in a case like this, and where the list of potentially involved parties includes many public officials with significant ties to Mr. Sini. “This case needs outside oversight to ensure that it is not business as usual in Suffolk County and the people of Suffolk County need a strong, independent voice fighting to keep them as their District Attorney,” he said.
“We need a special prosecutor that is willing to take a proactive approach to these cases and find out who is responsible,” Mr. Tierney said. “It’s sad for the families of these victims that they go on unsolved. The public should be concerned there is still likely a serial killer still on the loose. It is clear there is very little confidence in the county executive, the police department’s and district attorney’s leadership in apprehending and prosecuting the perpetrator of these heinous crimes.”
Liberal State Lawmakers are Making the Same Mistake as They Did with Bail Reform as Crime Rates Spike throughout New York State and Suffolk County
When the Democratic Party assumed control of both houses of the New York State Legislature in 2020, their first act was bail reform. By allowing those accused of all but the most violent crimes to go free without posting bail, crime has risen throughout New York State and Suffolk County.
In Suffolk County, from 2019 to 2020, homicides were up 25% and motor vehicle thefts were up 50%. Residential and commercial burglaries went up as well, from 900 in 2019 to 973 last year. These increases occurred, despite stay-at-home orders. Meanwhile, identity theft shot up 85% across the state last year.
Ray Tierney, Republican candidate for Suffolk County District Attorney, says the Democrat-controlled state Senate and Assembly are now looking to reform the state’s parole system, which will only release more criminals. Proposals include releasing longtime prisoners 55 years old and over and those already eligible for parole and lessening sentences for those who violate the conditions of their parole. “Thanks to the soft-on-crime liberal Democrats, there will be more of New York’s most dangerous, recidivist criminals back on our streets,” he said. “Crime is already spiraling out of control and our neighborhoods are becoming less safe.”
Liberal lawmakers have even introduced a bill that would wipe away past criminal records, including those convicted of felonies. “At a time of mass workplace shootings and sexual assaults, this will hamstring employers who use criminal background checks to help keep their employees safe,” Mr. Tierney said. “Democrats are appealing to the most liberal elements of their party and are blind to the impact it is having on law enforcement, prosecutors and the safety of our communities. Our current DA has been silent as his Democrat colleagues push their liberal agenda. I will stand up for victims and the safety of Suffolk residents.”
Ray Tierney, Republican candidate for Suffolk County District Attorney, has announced he has received the endorsement from former Suffolk County Presiding Officer and current Babylon Town Councilman DuWayne Gregory, a Democrat. Mr. Gregory has never crossed the aisle and endorsed a Republican candidate, but was compelled in this race.
“In my 30 years of active politics on Long Island, I have NEVER endorsed a Republican,” Mr. Gregory said. “This year, that changes. I fully endorse Ray Tierney for Suffolk DA. Ray has the experience and the credentials to be a great District Attorney. For more than 26 years, he has been a prosecutor with a strong record of convictions on violent street gangs including MS-13 cases, political corruption and sexual abuse. He has walked the walk in every courthouse. He is a breath of fresh air, and he is what we need.”
“I am proud and honored to have Councilman Gregory’s endorsement and support for my campaign,” Mr. Tierney said. “Councilman Gregory, a veteran, has a long history of serving the people of our County with honor and distinction in the Legislature and in Babylon Town. I look forward to having Councilman Gregory help me on my campaign for the District Attorney’s race. I want to take politics out of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office and truly serve the people, all of the people, whether Democrat or Republican, of our great County.”
“As a former prosecutor for the Suffolk District Attorney’s office, U.S. attorney and Executive Assistant at the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office, I worked with prosecutors of different political persuasions,” he said. “When it comes to enforcing the law, there is no room for politics or the influence of self-serving special interests. Only the law and blind justice the residents of Suffolk County demand from this most sacred elected office.”