The owner of the Newburgh boxing club, a club aimed to keep young adults off the streets, was jailed for conspiring to sell heroin.

In late August, 49-year-old Raymond Rivera of Newburgh pleaded guilty to conspiracy. It was alleged that Rivera was one of the main suppliers of heroin to a drug trafficking organization from the City of Newburgh.

Rivera admitted in court that he conspired to engage in the sale of more than a half-ounce of heroin, which he knew was going to be sold on the streets of the City of Newburgh.

“Rivera’s participation in this enterprise was a betrayal of all that he professed he stood for,” Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler stated. “While he was accepting accolades for helping Newburgh’s youth, he was peddling the very substance that is destroying their lives.

Rivera was arrested in June following a ten-month-long narcotics investigation. “Operation Punch-Out”, which included the use of wiretaps, led to multiple search warrants, and over twenty arrests. Law enforcement officials recovered more than 56 grams of unpackaged heroin, over 1,000 individual packages of heroin, 28 grams of cocaine, over $8,000 in U.S. currency, scales, packaging material, cutting agents and a loaded pistol. The street value of the drugs seized was over $18,000, officials say.

Rivera was sentenced to five to 15 years in state prison in Orange County Court on Tuesday.

“The state prison sentence that Raymond Rivera received was appropriate given his level of involvement in this drug trafficking conspiracy,” Hoovler said. “It is always disappointing when it is discovered that a respected community figure, who could have served as a role model, succumbed to the allure of quick narcotics profits