Orange County News
For Immediate Release Contact: Christopher Borek
November 16, 2021 845.291.3276, 845.238.4245c
District Attorney Hoovler and Sheriff DuBois Announces Charges in Fentanyl Case
Newburgh Man charged with Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Second Degree for Selling of Fentanyl to Undercover Police Officer
Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler and Orange County Sheriff Carl E. DuBois announced that on Monday, November 16, 2021, Rahsaan Melvin, 30, of Newburgh, was arraigned by Orange County Court Judge Hyun Chin Kim, on an indictment charging him with crimes including Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Second Degree and Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree in connection with multiple sales of the narcotic fentanyl to an undercover police officer.
The charges against Melvin were the culmination of a two-month long investigation conducted by the Orange County Drug Task Force, who were assisted by the FBI Safe Streets Task Force. Melvin was arrested with assistance from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and the United States Marshal’s Service. It is alleged that Melvin had negotiated sales of “loose” heroin to an undercover police officer, who Melvin believed was a drug dealer who would then re-package and resell the narcotics that Melvin sold him to street level buyers. It is alleged that although Melvin had agreed to sell the undercover officer heroin, he in fact sold the potentially lethal narcotic fentanyl instead. The indictment alleges Melvin sold narcotics on February 9, 2021, and February 16, 2021. It is alleged that Melvin sold 19 grams of fentanyl on February 16, 2021, in exchange for $1,600. In total, it is alleged that Melvin sold 25.9 grams of fentanyl and had received in excess of $3,600 from the undercover police officer.
Melvin faces up to 10 years in state prison on the charge of Criminal Sale of Controlled Substance in the Second Degree. Melvin is being held in the Orange County Jail in lieu of $100,000 cash, or $300,000 secured bond or $500,000 unsecured bond. Although bail reform legislation generally does not allow for bail to be set for narcotics felonies, including Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Second Degree, Melvin is alleged to have committed these crimes while he was on Federal probation, which allowed the Court to set bail. Melvin is next scheduled to appear in Court on December 8, 2021.
District Attorney Hoovler thanked the Orange County Drug Task Force, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and the other law enforcement agencies who assisted in the case.
“Fatal overdoses in Orange County occur at an alarming rate and one of the most lethal narcotics contributing to these deaths is illegally purchased fentanyl,” said District Attorney David M. Hoovler. “Even more dangerous than ingesting illegally obtained fentanyl, is ingesting it when you are unaware that it is present. I commend the Orange County Drug Task Force, and our other law enforcement partners, for targeting those who endanger the community by selling narcotics, particularly those higher-level dealers who supply other narcotic sellers.”
Sheriff Carl E. DuBois said, “The Orange County Sheriff’s Office remains committed to working with our law enforcement partners to rid our communities of illegal drugs that kill and those who sell them.”
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Neal Eriksen.
This criminal charge is merely an allegation that a defendant has committed a violation of the criminal law, and it is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the State of New York’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
THE PUBLIC IS ADVISED THAT ILLEGALLY PURCHASED STREET DRUGS MAY CONTAIN POTENTIALLY LETHAL SUBSTANCES INCLUDING FENTANYL