County drug sweeps nets 64 arrests

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Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler, in conjunction with numerous local law enforcers announced that 64 defendants have been charged with trafficking heroin, cocaine, oxycodone, phencyclidine (PCP), morphine, and marijuana throughout Orange County.

The enforcement action, which occurred in April and May, utilized undercover police officers to purchase narcotics; car stops; and search warrants.

The sweep targeted heroin, cocaine, oxycodone, PCP, morphine, and marijuana in cities, towns, and villages throughout the county.

The countywide enforcement action was the largest of its kind in the history of Orange County. Search warrants were executed in the cities of Newburgh, Middletown, and Port Jervis, as well as in the Town of Blooming Grove and Village of Washingtonville.

In addition to illicit drugs with a street value of over $10,000, authorities recovered one handgun, twelve long guns, and two high-capacity magazines from convicted criminals in residences where narcotics were being sold or stored.

Six defendants were indicted for selling narcotics near area schools. Joe Smith was indicted for selling cocaine near Newburgh Free Academy. Brian Downs and Walter Dembeck were indicted for selling heroin near Washingtonville Middle School. Victor Garcia, Gerald Mercado and another individual were indicted for selling heroin near South Junior High School in the City of Newburgh.

Those locations were targeted after community members complained of narcotics dealers repeatedly hawking narcotics to students at those locations.

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