William Wright
William Wright

A California drug kingpin was sentenced Tuesday to 13 1/2 years in New York State prison for running a cross-country multi-million-dollar cocaine trafficking ring that also smuggled marijuana from Canada to Long Island.

William Wright had pleaded guilty last week at Suffolk County court to conspiracy, money laundering and criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Prosecutors said the 35-year-old West Hollywood man was busted shipping 175 kilos of cocaine from California to Suffolk in secret compartments in luxury vehicles.

The vehicles were shipped in car-carrying tractor trailers used by unwitting auto dealers.

Wright bought the cocaine for $20,500 per kilo on the west coast and sold it in Suffolk “for a price approximately five times that amount, after the drug was cut and prepared for street sales,” District Attorney Tom Spota said.

Wright also shipped $1.1 million hidden inside a Mercedes back to California and smuggled large amounts of high-grade marijuana, between 10 and 300 pounds at a time, from Canada to Suffolk, authorities said.

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He had 30 kilos of cocaine hidden inside a trap in a Nissan 350Z at the time of his arrest.


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Timothy Bolger is the Managing Editor for the Long Island Press who’s been working to uncover unreported stories since shortly after it launched in 2003. When he’s not editing, getting hassled by The Man or fielding cold calls to the newsroom, he covers crime, general interest and political news in addition to reporting longer, sometimes investigative features. He won’t be happy until everyone is as pissed off as he is about how screwed up Lawn Guyland is.