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Posted on: April 8, 2019

District Attorney Hoovler Announces Indictments in Cocaine and Narcotic Pills Distribution

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District Attorney Hoovler Announces Indictments in Cocaine and Narcotic Pills Distribution Conspiracy Cases

“Operation Bread, White and Blues” Targeted Narcotics Distributors and 

Outlaw Motorcycle Club Members

Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced on Friday, April 5, 2019, that nineteen defendants have been indicted by an Orange County Grand Jury on charges including Conspiracy in the Second Degree, Operating as a Major Trafficker and Criminal Sale of Controlled Substance in the Second Degree, in connection with the enforcement action dubbed “Operation Bread, White and Blues”. The indictments outline two separate conspiracies, one of which primarily involves members and associates of self-professed “outlaw” motorcycle clubs trafficking cocaine, and another of which involves the sale of narcotic pills which were represented to contain oxycodone, but which contained fentanyl, a highly addictive and frequently lethal narcotic. The name of the operation referred to the co-conspirators use of the term “bread” to mean money they obtained through the sale of narcotics, “white” to represent the cocaine which was sold, and “blues” to represent the blue colored pills which were being trafficked. Most of the defendants were arrested in a series of early morning raids and search warrant executions which occurred on Tuesday, February 5, 2019.


On February 5, 2019, members of the New York State Police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team aided by the New York State Police Special Operations Response Team and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, had executed multiple search warrants and made over twenty arrests throughout Orange County, and Rockland County.  The arrests and search warrant executions were as a result of a six-month-long narcotics investigation. Law enforcement officials recovered more than $200,000, 25 handguns, one assault rifle, multiple rifles, ten vehicles, two motorcycles, over 2.5 pounds of cocaine and 1300 Fentanyl pills.

Two defendants, Paul Smith and Robert Dunham, are alleged to be members of both conspiracies. 

Paul Smith, 48, of Deerpark, has been indicted on charges including two counts of  Conspiracy in the Second Degree, Operating as a Major Trafficker, Attempted Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree, four counts of Criminal Sale of a  Controlled Substance in the Second Degree, Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, and nine counts of  Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree.

Robert Dunham, 46, of Middletown, has been indicted on charges including two counts of  Conspiracy in the Second Degree, Criminal Sale of Controlled Substance in the First Degree, seven counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Second Degree, six counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, twenty-four counts Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, three counts of Criminally Using Drug Paraphernalia in the Second Degree, and two counts of Criminal Possession of a Firearm.

Those charged in the conspiracy to distribute cocaine include:

Marquis Gamble, 34, of Nyack, who has been indicted for crimes including Conspiracy in the Second Degree, two counts of Operating as a Major Trafficker, Criminal Sale of Controlled Substance in the First Degree, Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree, three counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, and Criminally Using Drug Paraphernalia in the Second Degree. 

John Beltempo, 49, of New Windsor, who previously worked for the Village of Spring Valley Police Department, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and the Town of Wallkill Police Department,  was indicted on charges including Conspiracy In The Second Degree, two counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fourth Degree, and Criminal Possession of a Firearm.  

Joel Gamble, 44, of Cuddebackville, was indicted for crimes including Conspiracy in the Second Degree, Attempted Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree, two counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, and Criminally Using Drug Paraphernalia in the Second Degree.

Kenneth Nunez, 39, of Spring Valley, was indicted for crimes including Conspiracy in the Second Degree, Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree, Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree, and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree.

Samuel Marino, 30, of Campbell Hall; Charles Kavanaugh, 31, of Newburgh; Andrew Bendig 23, of Middletown; and, George Thomas, 61, of Bloomingburg, were each indicted for crimes including Conspiracy in the Second Degree.  George Thomas was also charged with Criminal Possession of a Firearm.

 Those charged in the conspiracy to distribute pills include:

Garry Michel, 48, of the Town of Wallkill, who has been indicted for crimes including Conspiracy in the Second Degree, two counts of Operating as a Major Trafficker, Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Second Degree, Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, and three counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree.  Michel was arraigned before Orange County Court Judge Craig Stephen Brown. Michel remains incarcerated in lieu of bail that was set in the amount of one million dollars cash or three million dollars bond.  He is next scheduled to appear in court of April 24, 2019.

Jennifer Peterson, 46, of Chester was indicted for crimes including Conspiracy in the Second Degree, Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the  Second Degree, and two counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree.

Shawn Daniels, 52, of Monroe; Raymond Chong, 49, of Middletown; Vincent Ferrante, 35, of New Windsor; Tara Schoonmaker, 48, of Wurtsboro; Arthur Mays, 30, of Middletown; Gary Caldwell, 33, of Wappingers; and Anthony Fields, 44, of Middletown, were all indicted for crimes including Conspiracy in the Second Degree.  Fields was also charged with Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree, and Criminal Possession of a Firearm.    

The New York State Police were assisted by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The maximum sentence for the Class A-1 felony of Operating as a Major Trafficker is 25 years to Life in State Prison.

The maximum sentence for the Class AI felony of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree is 8 to 20 years in State Prison.  If the offender has a prior felony conviction the maximum sentence is 12 to 24 years in State Prison.

The maximum sentence for the Class A-II felonies of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Second Degree and Criminal Sale of a controlled Substance in the Second Degree is 3 to 10 years in State Prison.  If the offender has a prior felony conviction the maximum sentence is 6 to 44 years in State Prison.

The maximum sentence for the Class B felony Conspiracy in the Second Degree is 8 1/3 to 25 years in State Prison. If the offender has a prior felony conviction the maximum sentence is12 ½ to 25 years in State Prison.

District Attorney Hoovler thanked the New York State Police for their efforts in this investigation.  District Attorney Hoovler highly commended the New York State Police for their investigation given the complexity of the case. 

Assistant District Attorney Neal Eriksen assisted in the investigation of the case and is assisting in prosecuting all of the defendants charged in the operation.

Senior Assistant District Attorneys Kerry Kolek and David Byrne are prosecuting all the defendants charged in the operation.

In addition to filing criminal charges, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office has also instituted a civil forfeiture proceeding against many of these defendants in the cocaine conspiracy in order to seize from them profits that they have made illegally selling narcotics.  The suit seeks over $833,000 in illegally obtained profits. Additionally, the office will commence a forfeiture proceeding against those defendants in the pill conspiracy who illegally profited from the sale of narcotic pills. Assistant District Attorney Nicholas Mangold is conducting the civil forfeiture proceedings.

“The narcotics trafficking that is destroying the fabric of our society and killing our residents must be fought at every level, It is only through enforcement actions such as “Operation Bread, White and Blue” that law enforcement is able to pursue those higher level drug dealers and craftier offenders who attempt to insulate themselves from criminal liability by dealing drugs through intermediaries,” said District Attorney Hoovler. “Organized criminal activity, especially which involves illegal weapons, presents the public and law enforcement with additional challenges and concerns, and it simply cannot be tolerated.  My office will continue to use every tool at our disposal, including the use of electronic surveillance and civil forfeiture actions to combat the illicit narcotics trade and all types of organized criminal activity.”

A 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’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.


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