Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced tonight that eleven suspects have been charged with drug trafficking in the City of Newburgh and surrounding areas. They are accused of trafficking crack cocaine and heroin. Two of the suspects remain at large and law enforcement officials are seeking the public’s help in locating them.
Over the course of the past several months, undercover investigators purchased quantities of narcotics from individuals in and around the City of Newburgh and the Town of Wallkill. The arrests are part of a multi-agency investigation conducted by the Orange County Drug Task Force; Orange County Sheriff’s Office; New Windsor, City of Newburgh, Town of Wallkill, and City of Port Jervis Police Departments; Orange County District Attorney’s Office; and the Hudson Valley Crime Analysis Center.
Two of the suspects remain at large. The District Attorney’s Office is seeking the public’s assistance in the apprehension of Mackensie Arias, 22, and Rahjeem Russell, 26. They are both accused of selling crack cocaine. Anyone having information regarding the whereabouts of either men should contact local law enforcement. Arias and Russell are also wanted on arrest warrants for charges from another case including Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree.
The nine other defendants who were arrested are William Cotten, age 27; Lamont Robinson, age 36; Donald Leid, age 28; Devin Williams, age 25; Charles Holmes, age 70; Kashon Williams, age 28; Aljean Cromartie, age 20; Damien Garcia, age 43; and Rasheed Barrett, age 28. Barrett allegedly sold heroin while the others are accused of selling crack cocaine. They were all charged with crimes including Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, involving the alleged sale of narcotics to undercover police officers.
In 2019, bail reform legislation was enacted that severely limits the courts’ abilities to set bail for offenses involving narcotics sales. Prior to this legislation, narcotics sweeps in Orange County resulted in bail being set for almost all defendants charged with selling narcotics, Hoovler explained. Although he has requested bail in every bail-eligible case, only two of the defendants charged in this sweep were held on bail. All others were released with no bail required.
“Despite bail reform legislation that has prevented courts from setting bail in most instances on drug dealers, my office will continue to pursue these actions and see the cases through to their conclusion,” Hoovler declared. “That includes seeking lengthy prison sentences where appropriate.”
Hoovler pointed out his goals are to maintain public safety and order. “We will not let the proliferation of drugs in our community go unchecked,” he continued. “To the contrary, this and the other frequent narcotics enforcement actions developed and implemented by local law enforcement will continue to seek to hold accountable those who spread poison in our communities for profit.”
Hoovler and Undersheriff Kenneth T. Jones both commended all the law enforcement agencies involved for working together to make the arrests. “This case and its results shows the commitment of the Sheriff’s Office and our law enforcement partners to remain resolute in seeking out and arresting those persons who choose to sell narcotic drugs in Orange County,” Jones said. “Enforcement of laws against dealers prevents deaths.”