An eight-month-long investigation of drug dealing in Rockland County, including inside several bars, used undercover buys and extensive telephone wiretaps to develop charges against 36 people that were announced Wednesday in New City.
Rockland County District Attorney Thomas P. Zugibe said 22 people ranging in ages from 21 to 59 were arrested in pre-dawn raids Wednesday, with charges against them including dozens of sales of cocaine, crack cocaine and Oxycodone to undercover cops since September 2010 in Stony Point and Haverstraw. Two people were still being sought on Wednesday and another dozen people have already been arrested during the course of the investigation.
“These arrests - and the seizure of drugs and contraband resulting from this investigation - will serve as a warning to both drug dealers and users alike that the law enforcement community will aggressively track down those individuals who traffic in drugs and seek to lock them up for long periods of time,” Zugibe said.
Twenty-six of the drugs buys took place in three of North Rockland bars: Noels Irish Pub & Restaurant in Stony Point, Westbrook’s in West Haverstraw and Jack Kelly’s Restaurant in West Haverstraw.
Other buys occurred within 1,000 feet of schools in the North Rockland area, Zugibe said.
Zugibe said the investigation, “Operation High-Tech,” began in July 2010 when the Rockland County Drug Task Force received information from the Town of Haverstraw Street Crime Unit that a network of drug dealers was working in Haverstraw and Stony Point.
In response, the county's Drug Task Force assigned undercover officers to purchase crack and powdered cocaine and Oxycodone. Zugibe said that during the investigation, undercover officers purchased narcotics on nearly 30 separate occasions.
In addition to the arrests, officers executed several court-authorized search warrants and recovered various amounts of powdered and crack cocaine, Oxycodone and drug paraphernalia.
Among those arrested were Richard Echevarria, 43, of 32 Wayne Ave.,, West Haverstraw, who Zugibe said is accused of being the primary local source of illegal narcotics, linking Rockland County to large-scale New York City supplier Eduardo T. Reynoso, 45, of 442 W. 160th St., New York, New York.
They are charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance in the
third degree and criminal sale of a controlled substance in or near school grounds, both Class “B” felonies, each punishable by up to nine years in prison, as well as conspiracy and criminal possession of a controlled substance.
“These arrests will take us a long way toward improving the quality of the life for the residents of Rockland County and in reducing drug-related violence and other criminal activities,” Zugibe said.
Several of those charged in the investigation are currently on probation and/or parole, Zugibe said. Since many drug buys were made in local bars, the State Liquor Authority has been notified of the investigation, however, no charges have been brought by police against the bars or their owners.
Zugibe said the investigation was conducted by detectives assigned to the Rockland County Drug Task Force, the Town of Haverstraw Uniform Patrol & Street Crime Unit, the Town of Stony Point Uniform Patrol, the Town of Ramapo Uniform Patrol & Street Crime Unit, the Town of Clarkstown Street Crime Unit, the Village of Spring Valley Uniform Patrol, the New York State Police, the New York State Drug Enforcement Task Force Group T-31, the Rockland County Intelligence Center, the Rockland County Sheriff’s Department, the United State Marshals Service, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the New York State Office of the Inspector General, the New York State Division of Parole and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Zugibe said the following people have been charged in the investigation:
Eduado T. Reynoso of 442 W. 160th St., New York, NY
Richard Echevarria, 32 Wayne Ave., West Haverstraw
Edward Soto, 40 Peck St., West Haverstraw
Damian Cintron, 9 Broadway,
Claribel Santana, 31 Rockland St., Haverstraw
Kyera Karlau, 59 Old Country Road, Pomona
Matthew Geoghegan, 59 Old Country Road, Pomona
Eric Lopez, 58 Church St., Garnerville
Wilfredo Torres, 20 Main St., Garnerville and 130 Jay St., Stony Point
Flyod Eurie, 176 Broadway, Haverstraw
Alexis Kastner, 36 Main St., Haverstraw
Robert Messina, 234 N. Liberty Drive, Stony Point
Thomas Reilly, 17 Christie Drive, New City
Curtis Leonard, 10 Broadway, Haverstraw
Robbins Mondesir, 23 Hazel Court, Spring Valley, and 18 Dover Road, Congers
Ian Thomas, 157 Parkway Trailer Park, Pomona
Allan Bialek, 164 E. Eckerson Road, Spring Valley
Nicholas Alvarez, 4 Maple Court, Washingtonville, NY
Charles Vaughn, 64 Oak Tree Lane, Garnerville, and 236 Westside Ave., Haverstraw
Juan P. Hernandez, 67 Hudson Ave., Haverstraw
Michael Day, 771 Liberty Drive, Tomkins Cove
Michael McDermott, 4490 Conashaugh Lake, Milford, PA
Jose Aquilar, TreeTop Court, Building 68, Bloomingdale, NJ
Gerrado Flores-Gomez, 6 Johns St., New Hempstead
Josue Cintron, 88 Kennedy Driver, West Haverstraw
Luis Cordero, 19 Cooper Lane, Campbell Hall, NY
Omar Sotolongo, 225 Tyron Ave., Englewood, NJ
Alejandro Perez 318 Westside Ave, Haverstraw
Cheryl R. Juhans, 112 Stuyvesant Road, Teaneck, NJ
Maria Paige, 185 Spook Rock Road, Suffern
Gerald M. Haskin, 533 E. 27th St., Patterson, NJ
Theresa R. Haskins, 533 E. 27th St., Patterson, NJ
Gordon Patterson, 1206 Dogwood Lane, Salisbury, NC
David A. Diaz, 21 Pratt St., Haverstraw