37 Charged in Rockland Undercover Drug Investigation

Crack, powder cocaine, heroin, prescription drugs sold at locations that included downtown Suffern, Haverstraw, Nyack and Palisades Center mall in West Nyack

An undercover police probe of illicit drug sales throughout Rockland County has led to charges against 37 people, including 35 individuals who officials say have extensive prior criminal histories for drug selling, robbery, assault, burglary, parole violation, weapons possession and resisting arrest.

“These arrests should serve as a warning to both drug dealers and violent criminals alike that Rockland County law enforcement, in spite of serious economic difficulties, will continue to aggressively track down those individuals who traffic in illegal and prescription drugs and seek to put them in prison for many years,” District Attorney Thomas Zugibe said today.

Zugibe said the charges stem from the sale of Oxycodone, Ecstasy, Percocet and other highly-addictive pharmaceuticals, as well as heroin and cocaine and crack cocaine throughout Rockland County on nearly 50 separate occasions over the past several months to undercover police officers. Those charged in the probe range in age from 18 to 67.

The open-air drug transactions have led to more than 120 counts of criminal sale and criminal possession of controlled substances. The investigation focused on numerous locations, including downtown areas in the villages of Suffern, Nyack and Haverstraw. Illegal activities also took place in the Palisades Center mall in West Nyack and at the Stony Point Motel on Route 9W in Stony Point.

Zugibe said three mobile home parks were also targeted for open-air drug transactions, including the Parkway Trailer Park, the Quaker Road Trailer Park and the Mazza Leone Trailer Park, all in the Town of Haverstraw.

Among those arrested was Emmanuel Quezada, 28, of 70 Sharp St., Apartment #2, Haverstraw, described by police as a repeat violent felon and major source of illegal narcotics for Rockland County. Zugibe said Quezada is charged with selling cocaine to undercover officers on numerous occasions in 2012.

Zugibe said Quezada's criminal record includes prior arrests for criminal sale and criminal possession of controlled substances, assault, robbery, sodomy, parole violations, bail jumping and child endangerment.

Eight of those arrested during the probe are also purported street gang members based in Haverstraw and Stony Point.

“These arrests were spearheaded by the police officers assigned to the Rockland County Drug Task Force," Rockland County Drug Task Force Director Christopher Goldrick said. "This has been a collaborative and coordinated response to open-air drug dealing complainants by our local municipalities. The Drug Task Force, along with the Street Crime Units, Detective Bureaus and Uniform Patrol Officers will continue to dismantle open-air drug dealers and gang members that fuel all other crimes that deteriorate our communities.”

Through traditional investigative means such as physical surveillance and search warrants, coupled with court-authorized electronic surveillance, Zugibe said investigators developed information that led detectives to areas known for drug selling. In addition to the arrests, officers executed court-authorized search warrants and recovered various amounts of prescription pills, cocaine, heroin and drug paraphernalia.

Zugibe said 37 individuals have been indicted and 10 have active warrants that have been forwarded to the United States Marshalls Services and the Rockland County Sheriff’s Department.

The investigation continues into the reach and scope of illicit drug trafficking in Rockland County and further arrests will be made, Zugibe said.

Those cited in the investigation are variously charged with numerous counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, a class “B” Felony and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, a class “B” Felony, each punishable by up to nine years in prison.

Dawn Wright July 02, 2012 at 09:58 PM
Good work.
smallsweet July 02, 2012 at 10:27 PM
Execellent Job!!! Yayyyyyy
Changing Now July 02, 2012 at 10:58 PM
Good job Officer Goldrick and your task force!
Bern July 03, 2012 at 12:23 AM
It's time for our stores to stop selling oxy as many on Long Island have done. There are non-addictive alternatives. Wake up doctors! The addiction usually starts with a prescription.
Nilsa Presta July 03, 2012 at 12:41 AM
Great job!!!!! to our law enforcement of Rockland County. We are so proud of all of you.
Rob July 03, 2012 at 04:40 AM
Great....Get these dirt bags off the streets...So, now what ? They are charged, arrested, and then what ? They end up serving a light sentence and will all be back on the streets with-in a few years..doing the same thing. However, they will move up the ranks among their piers after they get out. It's an endless cycle.
John P. July 03, 2012 at 05:08 AM
Rob... it's peers not piers....
YoungGrasshopper July 03, 2012 at 02:56 PM
Think4urself July 03, 2012 at 03:52 PM
Wow! The war on drugs is won in Rockand, thanks to the honorable DA and his crack team of investigators. I'm sure no one will take the place of these criminals that sold these dangerous pharmaceuticals after this bust. Now, the DA's office is free to investigate why Rockland County's bond rating is one grade above junk status-the worst rated and worst run county in New York State. Would love to see the mugshots of the white collar criminals who contributed to the downgrade.
free July 03, 2012 at 08:24 PM
Lol all these drug busts and all they caught Was small frys lmao. How about you put your efforts to real criminals like your curropt justice system smh walkin around wit ya chest out like the middle school principal like u did somthing ibstead of pickig on the small frys you should get the cartel leaders smh
Joe Public July 03, 2012 at 09:12 PM
Good plan free. The Rockland Drug Task Force should take down the Zeta Cartel.
Rob July 03, 2012 at 09:59 PM
Oops...Can't see to well past midnight...
strawtwn July 04, 2012 at 07:12 PM
Think4urself the war on drugs will never b over if u think dat u as dumb as the rockland couty d.a office ..... They might have a 98 percent guilty verdicts but they back out in 6 months there wasteing taxs payers money to arrested n try to stop the drugs but they given smacks on the hands..... So u tell me whats wrong with the picture? Just like when they arrested retired det. Soto family members for murder in the 90s he did 3 yrs for a murder at the pista in haverstraw his daughter works for the d.a office she is a prosacuter in haverstraw. Ummmmm n she is tryin her family members n what did he get? A drug program n the felony was removed smh the justic system is corupt piont blank n most of these charges wont stick in that raid they just did.... N its a fact
Floopjack July 05, 2012 at 12:53 AM
Legalizing and taxing these substances would be the way to go. Your street level dealers would be out of business, gang activity would cease and the county wouldn't be bordering on insolvency. Look no further than any country with relaxed drug laws for proof.
Think4urself July 05, 2012 at 12:39 PM
Strawtwn- You think the way you write. I was being sarcastic about the drug war being won. The point of my comments were that there were bigger fish to fry other than these low life criminals with high recidivism rates. Government corruption(white collar crime) is more pernicious to the tax paying citizen than law enforcement would have you believe.
Clarkstown life July 05, 2012 at 02:09 PM
strawtwn may have a point but who would understand it??
Angel125 July 06, 2012 at 11:58 AM
Are you an English teacher? You sound like you may just be a bully


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