First ‘Operation Final Blow’ suspect pleads guilty

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GOSHEN – The first of more than 30 defendants in the investigation dubbed “Operation Final Blow” in western Orange County faces 10 to 21 years in state prison when sentenced.

District Attorney David Hoovler said Joseph Bruno, 44, of Port Jervis, pled guilty to charges of conspiracy and criminal possession of a controlled substance. It is anticipated that he will also face five years of post-release supervision and forfeit $55,364 and three vehicles as fruits of his crimes.

Bruno, believed to be one of the ringleaders in the operation, was arrested following a four-month investigation to disrupt major drug trafficking in the City of Port Jervis and surrounding areas, including Pike County, Pennsylvania.

Search warrants executed during the investigation resulted in the seizure of approximately two kilograms of cocaine, 74 grams of heroin, 165 grams of fentanyl, 1,600 ecstasy pills and 235 pills containing oxycodone. Also seized were seven illegally possessed firearms, $153,690 in cash, 11 automobiles, four motorcycles and two ATVs.

The investigation involved several federal, state and local agencies in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

DA Hoovler said the operation “helped to disrupt the flow of narcotics being trafficked in the western part of Orange County by bringing the higher-level dealers, including this defendant, to justice.”