Seventeen charged with drug trafficking in Orange County

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GOSHEN – An Orange County grand jury has indicted 17 people  on drug trafficking charges following investigations by police agencies, the sheriff’s and district attorney’s offices.

The crimes involved cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, and prescription medications. In one case, a woman died from a drug overdose.

Eleven of the defendants were arrested and charged with drug sales and possession for selling narcotics including cocaine, heroin and fentanyl to undercover police officers.

They were all released without bail as a result of the recent bail reform statutes.

The DA’s office and Orange County Drug Task Force are seeking the public’s assistance in locating five people who are wanted on arrest warrants for drug possession and sales.

One defendant, Rashon Williams, 26, of Newburgh, is wanted on three counts of drug sale and criminal possession of drugs.

On April 10, 2021, a suspected fatal overdose occurred in the Village of Monroe. Village police found a man and woman who were both unconscious. They were administered Narcan. The man was revived but the woman did not and later died.

It is alleged that Williams sold the drugs to the man in the City of Newburgh and that man share them with the woman in Monroe.

Williams is also wanted on a felony complaint for selling cocaine and fentanyl on April 16, days after he sold the fatal dose.

If convicted, the defendants could receive from 2 ½ to 12 years in prison, depending upon the criminal degree of the offense.

“The death of this young woman is a stark reminder that we must respond to the spike in fatal overdoses in Orange County, and throughout New York State,” said DA David Hoovler. “Although bail may now be set in connection with any crime that results in a death, judges should have the ability to use their discretion in setting bail on those who sell narcotics, particularly potentially lethal ones such as fentanyl and heroin.”

Sheriff Carl DuBois said his office “will continue to commit any and all resources to combat this terrible epidemic and look for new ways to help those affected by addiction.”

Monroe Village Chief Darwin Guzman said the bust “is a huge step moving forward to combat the crime of heroin and fentanyl sales in Orange County. We look forward to continuing our collaborative efforts with those agencies to keep our streets safer.”

Those agencies involved in this investigation included police in the Town and City of Newburgh; town police in Montgomery, New Windsor, Wallkill, and Warwick; village police in Monroe and Walden, the U.S. Marshals Fugitives Task Force, and Hudson Valley Crime Analysis Center.

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The full list of the defendants is below:

Defendant Location of Crime Substance Age Residence  Police Agency
Hakeen Frith City of Middletown Cocaine 29 Port Jervis Drug Task Force
Stephen Johnson City of Middletown Cocaine 51 Liberty Drug Task Force
Duane Spearman* City of Newburgh Cocaine 53 Newburgh Drug Task Force
Shatiro Lawrence* City of Newburgh Cocaine 33 Newburgh Drug Task Force
Tameka Hannah City of Newburgh Cocaine 44 Newburgh Drug Task Force
Tyler Wilson City of Newburgh Cocaine 23 Newburgh Drug Task Force
Louis Towles City of Newburgh Heroin 20 Newburgh Drug Task Force
Michael Elwyn Town of Wallkill Cocaine 43 Montgomery Drug Task Force
Robert Gayle City of Newburgh Fentanyl 44 New York City Drug Task Force
Terrance Norman City of Newburgh Fentanyl 50 Newburgh Drug Task Force
Eric Hall City of Newburgh Fentanyl 50 Drug Task Force

The following defendant is currently charged with the Class D felonies of 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  Police Agency
Joan Brennan City of Middletown Adderall 57 Middletown 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  Police Agency
Merissa Hill City of Middletown Cocaine 28 Newburgh Drug Task Force
Marlon Anderson City of Middletown Cocaine 32 Middletown Drug Task Force
Pierris Morgan* City of Newburgh Cocaine 28 Middletown Drug Task Force
Rashon Williams City of Newburgh Fentanyl 26 Newburgh Drug Task Force
Charles McDonald* City of Newburgh Fentanyl 39 Springfield Gardens Drug Task Force