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A clean pair of J’s are equal to cold hard cash. Not just for sneaker resellers, but for enterprising drug dealers, too.

Case in point, the cops recently busted a heroin ring that allegedly accepted kicks, in this case Air Jordans, for payment.

The New York Post reports that 15 people have been charged with participating in a heroin ring based out of Long Island. Reportedly, they brought in a cool $30,000 in profits, weekly. Two of those involved allegedly took Air Jordans as payment.


According to the Nassau County DA’s office, the group sold between 13,000 and 26,000 doses of heroin a month and their product was the cause of three fatal overdoses. A pair of Brooklyn men, Luis Rivera and Orlando Rodriguez, ran the squad for six years, per the authorities. The Feds raided the duos shared apartment last week (Dec. 13) and found 175 pairs of Jordans, $383,000 in cash and a gang of heroin worth about $325,000.

A Nassau County DA rep, Miriam Sholder, told The Post prosecutors think Rivera and Rodriguez took the kicks as payment for their illicit wares. To be fair, they could have just really, really liked Air Jordans.

Investigators claim the duo would distribute their weight to 13 lower level dealers at the Gateway Shopping Center in East New York, who would then take the heroin into Long Island (Nassau and Suffolk counties).

The Brooklyn stash house wasn’t the only spot the Feds hit. They also took down a crib in Flushing, Queens, a pair of safety deposit boxes and a Honda Pilot. In total, prosecutors says $1.2 million in heroin and $1.2 million in cash was seized.

Rivera and Rodriguez, and another man named Joseph Melito, have been charged as drug traffickers, and if convicted face 25 year to life in prison.

What are the authorities going to do with all those Jordans, though? Asking for a friend.