Hoovler announces dozens of drug-related indictments; only three held on bail

GOSHEN – 40 indictments were handed down in Orange County on Thursday for crimes pertaining to the trafficking of cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, and prescription medications throughout Orange County. The indictments are part of an enforcement action conducted by the Orange County Drug Task Force, the New York State Police, the City of Middletown Police, and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler made the announcement on Thursday.

Hoovler was joined by Major James Michael of the New York State Police, City of Middletown Police Chief John Ewanciw, City of Newburgh Police Chief Arnold Amthor, and Orange County Sheriff Carl DuBois at the announcement.

The enforcement action primarily used undercover police officers to purchase narcotics and prescription medications. The countywide enforcement action, one of many since Hoovler took office, was designed to help clean up neighborhoods throughout Orange County by targeting individuals trafficking narcotics. Thirty-eight of the defendants were indicted by an Orange County grand jury and charged with crimes including Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, for selling narcotics, including cocaine, heroin, oxycodone, and fentanyl, to undercover police officers. Two of the defendants were charged with Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Fifth Degree and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fifth Degree for having sold the prescription medication alprazolam to undercover police officers.

The crimes charged in the indictments stem from incidents that occurred from late fall 2018 through May 2020. The illicit substances for which the defendants were charged were tested by the New York State Police Mid-Hudson Satellite Crime Laboratory. The laboratory testing of the substances, and restrictions occasioned by COVID-19, resulted in longer than normal times between the incidents charged and indictment in some of the cases. The District Attorney’s Office is seeking the public’s assistance in determining if those involved in the sales of controlled substances have engaged in other sales. Since those engaged in the sale of controlled substances often are not known to their customers by name, photographs of the defendants are being released. 

Many of the purchases of the drugs, and many of the arrests, were performed by the Orange County Drug Task Force. The task force, created in 2015, is run under the supervision of a Senior Criminal Investigator from the District Attorney’s Office and a Senior Investigator from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. In addition to personnel from those agencies, the Drug Task Force is composed of police officers from other Orange County police departments. Currently, the Town of Montgomery Police Department, the Town of Wallkill Police Department, and the Town of Highlands Police Department have committed to assigning police officers to work on the Task Force. The Drug Task Force assists other agencies in conducting narcotics investigations, including undercover investigations, throughout the County. Some of the agencies that assisted in the enforcement action included the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, City of Newburgh Police Department, Town of Newburgh Police Department, Town of Montgomery Police Department, Town of New Windsor Police Department, Town of Wallkill Police Department, Town of Warwick Police Department, Village of Monroe Police Department, Village of Walden Police Department, U.S. Marshalls Fugitive Task Force, and the Hudson Valley Crime Analysis Center. 

Some of the cases arose from the “Blue and Gray Detail,” a joint operation that occurred in the City of Newburgh over the summer, which involved the City of Newburgh Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Safe Streets Task Force, and the New York State Police Violent Gang Narcotics Enforcement Team, and which was designed to drive down violent crime in the city. 

In 2019, legislation was enacted that severely limits the courts’ ability to set bail for offenses involving narcotics sales.  In previous narcotics sweeps in Orange County, some bail was set by the court for almost all defendants charged with selling narcotics.  Although the District Attorney’s Office has requested bail in every bail-eligible case, to date bail has only been ordered for three of the forty defendants charged in connection with this enforcement action.  Bail was set on two defendants after prosecutors argued that their status as persistent violent felony offenders rendered each of them bail eligible even under the new bail laws. Bail was also set on a defendant who was on parole.  However, courts did not set bail in every eligible case.

At his arraignment, the District Attorney’s office requested that bail be set on Cory Mansfield, who was charged with selling Alprazolam to an undercover police officer.  At his arraignment, prosecutors argued on the record that Mansfield was eligible to have bail set even under the new law, due to his being on probation for a violent felony. The court released Mansfield without bail. 

Niki Capaci was arraigned in Orange County Court on an indictment charging her with Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree and released without bail due to the new bail laws.  Within five days of being released, Capaci was again arrested and charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree for possessing 820 decks of suspected heroin.  Although the District Attorney’s Office requested that bail be set on Capaci in the Town of Monroe Court, Capaci was again released without bail.  The District Attorney’s Office is bringing an application in County Court to have bail set on the indicted case. Currently, Capaci remains at liberty.   

The following defendants are currently charged with the Class B felonies, Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree:

Defendant Location of Crime Substance Age Residence Indictment Number Police Agency
Darryn Deans Town of Wallkill Fentanyl 23 Newburgh 2020-097 Drug Task Force
Coleridge Lewter* City of Newburgh Cocaine 40 Newburgh 2020-101 Drug Task Force
Betzaida Rodriguez City of Newburgh Cocaine 38 Newburgh 2020-124 Drug Task Force
David Cabassa Town of Woodbury Cocaine 28 Highland Mills 2020-132 Drug Task Force
Alberta Defreese Town of Warwick Oxycodone 66 Warwick 2020-133 Drug Task Force
Michael Sanchez City of Middletown Oxycodone 29 Middletown 2020-135 Drug Task Force
Niki Capaci City of Middletown Heroin and Fentanyl 37 Middletown 2020-138 Drug Task Force
Erin Crummenauer City of Newburgh Heroin 37 Wallkill 2020-118 Drug Task Force
Adrian Franqui City of Newburgh Cocaine 23 Warwick 2020-137 Drug Task Force
Irma Delcastillo Town of Wallkill Oxycodone and Heroin 55 Middletown 2020-139 Drug Task Force and City of Middletown
Victor Garcia* City of Newburgh Heroin 54 Homeless 2020-162 New York State Police
Thomas Hughes* Town of Deerpark Cocaine 32 Port Jervis 2020-164 New York State Police
Cailin Shuback City of Newburgh Heroin and Fentanyl 31 Warwick 2020-163 New York State Police
Ashley Brown Town of Wallkill Heroin and Fentanyl 27 Middletown 2020-147 New York State Police
Andre Rayford Jr. Town of New Windsor Heroin 21 New Windsor and Newburgh 2020-099 New York State Police
Terrell Tallegrand* City of Newburgh Heroin 33 Newburgh 2020-157 New York State Police
Andre Riley Town and Village of Goshen Cocaine 28 Goshen 2020-150 New York State Police
Christine Yeagley City of Newburgh Heroin and Fentanyl 36 Newburgh 2020-155 New York State Police
Rayneisha Burman City of Newburgh Cocaine 20 Newburgh 2020-167 New York State Police
Bibiano Mojica-Nieves* City of Middletown Heroin 69 Middletown 2020-113 City of Middletown
Morris Blair City of Middletown Heroin 53 Middletown 2020-113 City of Middletown
Hilda Cotten City of Middletown Cocaine 34 Middletown 2020-109 City of Middletown
Tierra Wisher City of Middletown Cocaine 32 Middletown 2020-143 City of Middletown
Carlos Lopez* City of Middletown Heroin 68 Middletown 2020-098 City of Middletown

The following defendants are currently charged with the Class D felonies, Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Fifth Degree, and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fifth Degree:

Defendant Location of Crime Substance Age Residence Indictment Number Police Agency
Corey Mansfield* Town of Chester Alprazolam 26 Town of Chester 2020-117 Drug Task Force
Kim Frawley Village of Florida Alprazolam 53 Village of Florida 2020-129 Drug Task Force

 

The District Attorney’s Office is seeking the public’s assistance in the apprehension of the following individuals for whom arrest warrants were obtained: 

Defendant Location of Crime Substance Age Residence Indictment Number Police Agency
George Powell* City of Newburgh Cocaine 41 Newburgh 2020-141 Drug Task Force
Jamal Frazier* City of Newburgh Cocaine 41 Newburgh 2020-100 Drug Task Force
Oscar Brown City of Newburgh Cocaine 51 Newburgh 2020-120 Drug Task Force
Darryl Stewart* City of Newburgh Cocaine 22 Newburgh 2020-134 Drug Task Force
Gregory Defreece City of Newburgh Heroin 50 Newburgh 2020-136 Drug Task Force
Tiffany Simmonds City of Newburgh Heroin and Fentanyl 28 Newburgh 2020-163 New York State Police
Carlos Agosto-Colon* City of Middletown Heroin and Fentanyl 45 Middletown 2020-095 City of Middletown
Erik Bailey City of Middletown Cocaine 30 Newburgh 2020-108 City of Middletown
Deanna Olenick City of Middletown Cocaine 40 Port Jervis 2020-108 City of Middletown
Dominique Thomas City of Middletown Cocaine 20 Middletown 2020-110 City of Middletown
Micah Williams City of Middletown Cocaine 43 Middletown 2020-111 City of Middletown
Marilyn Estrada City of Middletown Cocaine 35 Middletown 2020-112 City of Middletown
Daniel Webster City of Middletown Cocaine 45 Middletown 2020-140 City of Middletown
Michael Warner City of Middletown Cocaine 54 Middletown 2020-143 City of Middletown

*Indicates a defendant who has a prior felony conviction within the past ten years who is eligible for an enhanced sentence.

“We must respond to the spike in fatal overdoses in Orange County, and throughout New York State,” said District Attorney Hoovler. “The COVID-19 emergency temporarily hampered our ability to conduct the type of narcotics enforcement actions that are necessary to drive down the availability of these highly addictive substances, however the increase in fatal overdoses shows just how necessary these enforcement actions are. The narcotics epidemic affects every community in the State without regard to socioeconomic status and the connection between violent crime and narcotics is undeniable. There are few residents who do not know someone whose life has been devastated by narcotics. Unfortunately, getting help for offenders who need treatment for their addictions has become more difficult. Due to the large number of police agencies in the County, and its sheer geographical size, the infrastructure for screenings and enrollment in treatment programs for offenders exists primarily at the Orange County Jail. Under current bail laws, narcotics offenders rarely make it to the jail and, consequently, getting them assessed for narcotics treatment programs has become increasingly problematic. I am confident that law enforcement, local governments, treatment providers, and concerned Orange County residents will ultimately prevail in combating the narcotics epidemic that is killing far too many in our communities.”

Sheriff Carl DuBois stated, “Actions taken by the state legislature and Governor that released some low-level addiction-related criminals were announced as an improvement but those within the system here in Orange County knew that they were denying those persons treatment while in jail.  The Orange County Jail has robust and successful treatment options for those who come to jail addicted.  These offenders, arrested as a result of these investigations, are not low-level criminals despite whatever the legislature and Governor might believe; they were literally dealing death and heartbreak within our community.  This operation is another step in the ongoing fight against drug dealers profiting from the addiction of their customers.” 

Chief John Ewanciw said, “This year has presented all law-enforcement agencies with unprecedented challenges as we have worked tirelessly to cope with the complex changes associated with New York State bail reform, the COVID-19 pandemic, and nationwide protests against police injustices. Operations such as this prove that police officers have not stopped working and will continue to do everything possible to protect and serve their communities. Illegal narcotics are a threat to all of our cities, towns, and villages, but through the collaborative efforts of these various agencies, we can have a positive impact on the Orange County community and make our streets safer.”

Newburgh Police Chief Arnold Amthor lauded the indictments, saying, “I appreciate and commend my officers and the outside agencies who participated in this detail, in the furtherance of our joint efforts to aggressively reduce street-level drug activities and violent crime.  During the detail, the officers, deputies, and troopers were exposed to adverse and oftentimes aggressive efforts to antagonize them. They met this negative behavior with the utmost restraint and professionalism, and I wish to personally acknowledge them.”

Major Michael of the New York State Police stated, “Fatal drug overdoses continue to be a major issue in Orange County.  Through continued teamwork and cooperation with our federal, county, and local law enforcement partners, we were able to arrest 40 defendants who traffic in narcotics.  These arrests, combined with education and treatment, will help to reduce the number of tragic drug-related deaths in our community.”



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