Sullivan County drug trafficking investigation detailed

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Carlos Colon

MONTICELLO – The Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office has concluded a three- month investigation into street level narcotics sales in the Monticello, Liberty and Jeffersonville areas.

On Wednesday May 26, the sheriff’s office Gang and Narcotics Intelligence Unit executed a search warrant at 28 Taylor A Road in Jeffersonville (Town of Delaware).

The location, which is on a quiet dead-end road, is alleged to have been a distribution point for a large portion of the heroin that is trafficked in the county. Deputies seized over 500 bags of heroin/fentanyl, a quantity of crack cocaine, suboxone strips, packaging materials, a scale and $3,400 in cash.

Further investigation led deputies to two additional locations; 564 Willi Hill Road in White Sulphur Springs where seven ounces of heroin/fentanyl were recovered and 313 Cooks Brook Road in the Delaware County Town of Colchester were approximately $11,000 in cash was seized.

As a result of the execution of the search warrants, eight suspects were arrested/

Carlos Colon, 30, of Liberty was charged with four counts of drug possession, criminal sale of a controlled substance, and conspiracy, all as felonies.

He was remanded to the Sullivan County Jail without bail.

Salvatore Heinrich, 33, and Richard Patterson, 27, both of Jeffersonville, where each charged with three counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance and conspiracy, all as felonies.

Heinrich was remanded to the county jail without bail. Patterson was released on his own recognizance.

Alanna Bierstine, 32, of White Sulphur Springs, was charged with felony criminal possession of a controlled substance. Bierstine was released on her own recognizance.

Alex Eschenberg, 34, of Callicoon, Stephen Mootz, 37, of Callicoon Center and Aaliyah Garcia, 18, of Jeffersonville where charged with the misdemeanor of loitering. All three suspects were issued appearance tickets and released.

Carlos Ortiz, 24, of Liberty was arrested for two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance as felonies. He was released on his own recognizance.

Sheriff Mike Schiff described the defendants as “participants” in a network of Sullivan County drug distribution, with Carlos Colon of Liberty as the head of this particular organization. “The product that Carlos Colon sells makes him a purveyor of death and despair,” said the sheriff, noting that the overdose rate in the county is “off the charts.”

Colon was out on bail, awaiting sentencing for a previous drug conviction when he was arrested on the new charges.

District Attorney Meagan Galligan said, “While Sheriff Schiff and I have promised to seek help for those whose addiction has not yet endangered others, we intend to identify, investigate and hold responsible those who prey upon addiction for profit.”

Galligan said that the investigation was a result of an ongoing, coordinated effort by law enforcement against the opiate crisis in Sullivan County.

The sheriff’s office was assisted by the Sullivan County District Attorney’s Office that prepared the search warrants, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office, the Town of Colchester Police Department and the Village of Liberty Police.