‘Court-Ordered Eavesdropping’ Leads To 15 Arrests In Hudson Valley
Police from the Hudson Valley say they've broken up a drug trafficking network following a year-long investigation.
On Tuesday, officials from Orange County announced at a press conference that 15 defendants have been charged with crimes including conspiracy to sell narcotics.
Below is the list of those arrested:
Arrests in Narcotics Conspiracy Investigation Centered in Middletown and Port Jervis
The arrests were the result of a two-year-long narcotics investigation that utilized "court-ordered eavesdropping," officials say.
Seven search warrants were executed which lead to the seizure of $167,000, three illegal guns and over 1,500 grams of crack cocaine with approximately $50,000.
“There are still those who think that they can sell narcotics with impunity if they insulate themselves through the use of intermediaries,” Orang County District Attorney David M. Hoovler said. “This case exemplifies the benefits of coordinated and dedicated enforcement actions by police and prosecutors, and why no one who traffics narcotics in Orange County can hope to evade law enforcement."
High-Ranking Bronx Official Among Those Arrested
Among those arrested was 48-year-old Michael Rodriquez of Yonkers, who is the Director of Bronx Rises Against Gun Violence, an anti-violence program that receives government money.
Officials say they found over 1.5 kilograms of cocaine, $165,509 in United States currency, scales, a money counter, an unlicensed Ruger .380 caliber pistol, an unlicensed Bond Arms .357 caliber handgun, a vacuum sealer, digital scales and jewelry estimated to have a value of approximately $50,000 in his Westchester County home.
"This operation helped to disrupt the flow of narcotics being trafficked in Middletown and Port Jervis by bringing drug dealers, including Michael Rodriguez, to justice. It is unconscionable that the Director of a respected group which has pledged to reduce gun violence and help at-risk youth would himself choose to become a major drug dealer himself and commit weapons offenses. I hope that the poor example he has set does not disillusion vulnerable youth who might be tempted to follow his example. If they do they will surely also follow him to prison," Hoovler said.
Rodriquez is also accused of supplying cocaine to drug dealers in the City of Middletown and the City of Port Jervis and possessing two illegal handguns.
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