Grandma-Grandson Duo Busted For Running Drug Ring

By McCarton Ackerman 07/24/14

A family that deals drugs together, goes to jail together.

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Drug kingpin. Photo via

A Connecticut grandmother and grandson have been spending plenty of quality time together over the last few months, but it was unfortunately in the form of running a drug ring out of their home.

Elaine Coffey, 65, and her grandson Nicholas Coffey, 24, were charged with possession of heroin with the intent to sell, narcotics possession, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Police received calls from concerned neighbors in the town of Plainfield over “an abundance of short-term traffic” near their home over the last month, while other callers reported that Nicholas was selling drugs inside the house.

Undercover investigators eventually picked up drugs from him and a second woman, 34-year-old Jody Read, inside of his car before making the arrest. She was also charged with identical offenses. Bond was set at $20,000 for all three offenders.

However, Elaine is hardly the oldest drug-dealing grandma in recent years. Eighty-year-old Roza Shusterman was arrested in 2002 for selling prescription drugs out of her home in Brooklyn, NY. She pleaded guilty in January 2013 to felony drug sales of prescription pills and a misdemeanor drug possession charge before dying from heart failure one month later.

In 2012, Darlene Mayes, 73, earned the sobriquet “Ganja Grandma” after it was found that she was responsible for a drug ring that distributed 40% of the marijuana around the city of Tulsa, Okla. Police raided her home in April 2012 and found four pounds of pot, $276,000 in cash, and two weapons. She also admitted to having several dealers work for her, including her son, Jerry, who was arrested on drug charges.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.