Can you quantify the power of familial love? For one Williamsburg family, yeah—cops have assessed it at approximately $1.5 million a year in heroin sales, totally tax-free.

That’s all according to a 368-count indictment that came down Thursday afternoon. According to Brooklyn D.A. Kenneth Thompson, who announced the arrests at a celebratory press conference, the mostly-family business also employed a college drug counselor and a Manhattan court supervisor. All in all, 25 were arrested in what’s been a devastating year for mom and pop drug businesses across the city.

At the heart of the drug ring were the purported leader, 24-year-old Josie Tavera, his sister, his brother and at least two of his cousins. And authorities say his mother—who was probably still laundering his clothing—was definitely laundering his money. Via CBS:

“His mother helped launder the proceeds that they gained from selling this heroin,” Thompson told reporters, including WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond. “And his sister, Sheila, helped bag and transport some of their heroin.”

They reportedly hid the drugs in cereal boxes, which is smarter than selling it in little baggies marked “heroin”—I guess—but didn’t exactly help them, because police were already following them and tapping their phones. Via the New York Times:

The authorities began an investigation into the ring last year after a tip from an informer, and it grew to include wiretaps and video and physical surveillance.

Investigators found that the ring, which appeared to be based in an apartment in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, sold heroin under various names, including “Knockout,” “Killing Time,” “Gucci” and “Scorpion,” which, in one recorded phone conversation played by prosecutors, members of the ring laughed about its potent “bite.”

Only one suspect, Walter Simms, is still on the loose and has no doubt lost his spot in the Tavera Family Band.

Contact the author at