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Orange County NewsFor Immediate Release Contact: Christopher BorekMonday, July 10, 2019 845.291.3276, 845.238.4245c
District Attorney Hoovler Announces State Prison Sentence and Additional Guilty Plea in Cocaine and Narcotic Pills Distribution Conspiracy Cases
Spring Valley Man Sentenced to Eight Years in Conspiracy
to Bring Cocaine into Orange County to Sell
Wurtsboro Woman Pleads Guilty in Conspiracy to Distribute Narcotic Pills
“Operation Bread, White and Blues” Targeted Narcotics Distributors and
Outlaw Motorcycle Club Members
Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced on Monday, July 10, 2019, Kenneth Nunez, 39, of Spring Valley, was sentenced by Orange County Court Judge Craig Stephen Brown to eight years in prison, and five years post-release supervision, in connection with the enforcement action dubbed “Operation Bread, White and Blues”. On April 24, 2019, Nunez pleaded guilty to Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Second Degree. At the time that he pleaded guilty, Nunez admitted to possessing more than four ounces of cocaine on December 29, 2018, which prosecutors argued he had transported into Orange County in furtherance of a conspiracy to distribute cocaine.
Indictments arising from that enforcement action outlined 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 in the action 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.
On July 10, 2019, Tara Schoonmaker, 48, of Wurtsboro, pleaded guilty before Orange County Court Judge Craig Stephen Brown to Conspiracy in the Second Degree. At the time that she pleaded guilty, Schoonmaker admitted having agreed with others to sell pills containing narcotics. Schoonmaker faces up to three to nine years in prison when she is sentenced on August 26, 2019.
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.
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.
“Narcotics trafficking is destroying the fabric of our society, killing our residents, and must be fought at every level,” said District Attorney David M. Hoovler. “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.”
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.