• Orlando Dennis charged with cocaine trafficking in New York
  • He is the husband of State Assembly Speaker Chief of Staff Jevonni Brooks-Dennis
  • He is currently out on a $150,000 bail

The spouse of a high-ranking aid to New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie is facing cocaine trafficking charges.

Bronx truck-driver Orlando Dennis is accused of plotting with two airport baggage handlers to smuggle three kilos of cocaine (totaling about $100,000) for a Jamaican dealer, according to papers filed in federal court this past week.

The 31-year-old is the husband of Jevonni Brooks-Dennis, Chief of Staff to the New York State Assembly Speaker. She was with her husband at the airport when he was confronted by federal authorities. Dennis pleaded not guilty in Brooklyn federal court Monday evening and was released on a $150,000 bond.

He is subject to GPS location monitoring, cell phone monitoring and a curfew, and he was sternly wanted by Magistrate Judge Lois Bloom against breaking the law while he is out on bail, according to a report by the New York Post.

Bloom also spoke about the implications of Dennis’ arrest for his wife.

“You have to understand that your wife has a very accomplished job. Unfortunately for her, this is going to have ramifications for her career,” New York Post quoted Bloom as saying.

His wife has declined to comment. The Speaker’s office referred all questions regarding the ongoing case to Brooks-Dennis’ attorney, who categorically denies his client’s involvement in the case.

Representational image Steve Buissinne / Pixabay

The charges are the culmination of a months-long investigation that began in June. Phone records show that Dennis threatened to kill his alleged co-conspirator Swissport cargo airport employee Ryan Smalling. Smalling was arrested by feds in August, along with fellow Swissport employee William Brown. They pleaded guilty to drug importation charges and are out on bail awaiting sentencing.

Under questioning, Dennis admitted to exchanging money for drugs with the Jamaican dealer. He also admits to knowingly engaging in illegal activity, but denied knowing there were drugs in the bag when he was carrying them through the airport.