TOWN OF ULSTER – Fifteen months ago, Celina Maldonado, 25, of Plattekill, died from a heroin overdose. The Ulster Regional Gang Enforcement Narcotics Team (URGENT) investigation determined that the heroin contained deadly fentanyl, several times more potent than plain heroin.
The investigation identified the alleged seller, Monique Dibble, 33, of Marlboro.
Sheriff Juan Figueroa said the in-depth investigative police work is what nailed this case.
“URGENT was also able to obtain evidence that we feel directly links Ms. Dibble to the sale of the heroin that Ms. Maldonado overdosed and died from,” Figueroa said.
Dibble was arrested on August 20th and charged with the felonies of criminally negligent homicide and several counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance and criminal possession. She is in the Ulster County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail or $100,000 secured bond.
Chief Assistant District Attorney Michael Kavanagh said the investigation and arrest marks a turning point in the battle on opioids.
“And that is to hold the dealer accountable for causing the death of one of the addicts that they so easily served,” Kavanagh said. “This is something that we’ve attempted to do for years but you have to understand a case like this involves incredible amount of manpower, effort, great police work and quite frankly, a little bit of luck and that all fell into place with this case.”
The arrest brings some closure to Maldonado’s mother, Maria Bermo.
“Nothing can bring my Celina back but I find peace knowing that one less drug dealer will be off the streets,” Bermo said. And hopefully, this will send a message to all the other drug dealers out there who think that they can get away with selling poison and killing people suffering from addiction or mental health disorders.”
County Executive Patrick Ryan said the clear message in this case is “zero tolerance” for drug dealers in Ulster County.