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Orange County News For Immediate Release Contact: Christopher Borek Friday, June 10, 2022 845.291.3276, 845.238.4245c
Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler Announces Arrests Stemming from Narcotics Enforcement Action in Newburgh
Eleven Defendants Charged with Counts Related to the Possession and Sale of Narcotics in the City of Newburgh and Surrounding Areas
Numerous Undercover Drug Sales of Crack Cocaine and Heroin
Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced on June 10, 2022 that eleven defendants have been charged with crimes pertaining to the trafficking of crack cocaine and heroin throughout the City of Newburgh, and surrounding areas. The arrests are part of a multi-agency investigation and enforcement action conducted by the Orange County Drug Task Force (OCDTF), the Orange County Sheriff’s Office Investigations and Patrol divisions, the Town of New Windsor Police Department, the Town of Wallkill Police Department, and the City of Port Jervis Police Department, who were assisted by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, the Hudson Valley Crime Analysis Center and the City of Newburgh Police Department Detective Bureau.
Over the course of the past several months, undercover investigators purchased quantities of narcotics from individuals in and around the City of Newburgh and the Town of Wallkill. The narcotics purchased include crack cocaine as well as heroin. Nine of the defendants were arrested and charged with crimes including Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, for the sale of narcotics to undercover police officers. Two of those charged, Mackensie Arias and Rahjeem Russell, are wanted on arrest warrants for charges including Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree. The District Attorney’s Office is seeking the public’s assistance in the apprehension of Arias, 22, and Russell, 26. Anyone having information regarding the whereabouts of either men should contact local law enforcement.
In 2019, “bail reform” legislation was enacted that severely limits the courts’ ability to set bail for offenses involving narcotics sales. In narcotics sweeps in Orange County prior to the legislation, some bail was set by the court for almost all defendants charged with selling narcotics. Although the District Attorney’s Office has requested bail in every bail-eligible case, to date only two of the defendants charged were held on bail in connection with the enforcement action.
Criminal Sale of Controlled Substance Third Degree
“Intelligence and information gathered from narcotics operations, such as this one, helps to solve other crimes and is a key component in our overall criminal justice strategy,” said District Attorney David M. Hoovler. “Despite bail reform legislation that has prevented courts from setting bail in most instances on drug dealers, my Office will continue to pursue these actions and see the cases through to their conclusion. That includes seeking lengthy prison sentences where appropriate. The goal is to make and keep our streets safe and to maintain order. We will not let the proliferation of drugs in our community go unchecked. To the contrary, this and the other frequent narcotics enforcement actions developed and implemented by local law enforcement will continue to seek to hold accountable those who spread poison in our communities for profit. I commend the dedicated and collaborative efforts of the Orange County Drug Task Force and all of the law enforcement agencies involved in this action.”
“This case and its results shows the commitment of the Sheriff's Office and our law enforcement partners to remain resolute in seeking out and arresting those persons who choose to sell narcotic drugs in Orange County. Enforcement of laws against dealers prevents deaths,” said Undersheriff Kenneth T. Jones.
The cases are being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Janine Kovacs and Assistant District Attorneys Alexandra Pietropaolo and Anthony Molina.
A criminal charge is merely an allegation by the police 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.