Contact Us
Mount Pleasant Daily Voice serves Mount Pleasant & Valhalla
Return to your home site

Menu

Mount Pleasant Daily Voice serves Mount Pleasant & Valhalla

Nearby Towns

Breaking News: Emergency Closing Ordered At Westchester School After Discovery Of Mold
news

16 Plead Guilty In Operation Yellow Brick Road Hudson Valley Drug Bust

Some of the cash and weapons seized as part of "Operation Yellow Brick Road."
Some of the cash and weapons seized as part of "Operation Yellow Brick Road." Photo Credit: New York Attorney General's Office

A 172-count indictment that took down a major, violent drug ring that trafficked heroin and cocaine in the Hudson Valley has resulted in all 16 members entering guilty pleas.

The lone out-of-state defendant, Kennedy Richards, also known as “Prezzy,” of Paterson, N.J., will be sentenced to up 17 years in prison with five years of post-release supervision, Acting New York Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood said on Friday.

A 10-month investigation called "Operation Yellow Brick Road" (partially due to ringleader Damion Jackson’s street name “Toe-Toe) uncovered that the ring trafficked heroin and cocaine into Newburgh and elsewhere in Orange County for resale to hundreds of drug users on a daily basis.

In addition to all defendants admitting to conspiring to purchase and sell heroin and cocaine throughout the state, several also admitted to purchasing, possessing, and selling illegal firearms in furtherance of their narcotics distribution operation.

Jackson, of Newburgh, pleaded guilty to criminal sale of a controlled substance in the second degree, criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree, and conspiracy in the second degree. He will be sentenced to between 12 and 18 years in prison followed by five years of post-release supervision.

The others who entered guilty pleas were:

  • Frederick Blue, a.k.a. “Fredo,” of Newburgh, to two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the second degree and conspiracy in the second degree. He was sentenced to 13 years in state prison followed by five years of post-release supervision.
  • Dwaine Tate, a.k.a. “Devil,” of Newburgh, to criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree and conspiracy in the second degree. He will be sentenced to 10 years in prison followed by five years post-release supervision.
  • Kevin Maldonado, a.k.a. “Kels,” of Newburgh, to criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, criminal sale of a controlled substance in the second degree, and conspiracy in the second degree. He will be sentenced to 10 years in prison followed by five years of post-release supervision.
  • Steve Cohen, a.k.a. “Lonkie,” of Newburgh, to criminal sale of a controlled substance in the second degree (a class A-II felony) and conspiracy in the second degree. He will be sentenced to between seven and nine years in prison followed by five years of post-release supervision.
  • Andrew Hutchinson, a.k.a. “Jimmy,” of Newburgh, to criminal sale of a controlled substance in the second degree and conspiracy in the second degree. He will be sentenced to 7 years in prison followed by five years of post-release supervision.
  • Oneil Mitchell, a.k.a. “O,” of Newburgh, to criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree and conspiracy in the second degree. He will be sentenced to 5 years in prison followed by five years of post-release supervision.
  • Adrian Hutchinson, a.k.a. “Travis,” of Newburgh, to the attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree and conspiracy in the second degree. He will be sentenced to 4 ½ - 9 years in prison followed by five years of post-release supervision.
  • Demetrius Kelly, a.k.a. “Meech,” of Newburgh, to criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree. He will be sentenced to 7 years in prison followed by 5 years of post-release supervision.
  • Kenny Maldonado-Irizarry, a.k.a. “Ken Block,” to criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree, and conspiracy in the second degree. He will be sentenced to 5 years in prison followed by five years of post-release supervision.
  • Monique Bentley, a.k.a. “Cola,” of Newburgh, to criminal sale of a controlled substance in the second degree (a class A-II felony) and conspiracy in the second degree. She will be sentenced to 4½ years in prison followed by five years of post-release supervision.
  • Tykwon Burks, a.k.a. “Chop,” of Newburgh, to criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree and conspiracy in the second degree. He will be sentenced to between two and six years in prison followed by two years of post-release supervision.
  • Ethan Santana, a.k.a. “Edai,” of Newburgh, to criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree and conspiracy in the second degree. He will be sentenced to between two and six years in prison followed by two years of post-release supervision.
  • John Boughton, of Poughkeepsie, to criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree and attempted conspiracy in the second degree. He will be sentenced to six months in jail followed by five years of probation.

All entered their guilty pleas before Orange County Court Judge Craig Stephen Brown.

Tate, Mitchell, Cohen, and Jackson, as well as Andrew and Adrian Hutchinson all admitted to their roles as purchasers and distributors of large amounts of cocaine that were purchased from Richards and trafficked from Paterson to Orange County.

The investigation revealed that once the defendants obtained the cocaine, they would adulterate it with cutting agents such as baking soda to double their profits, or they would “cook” the powder cocaine into crack cocaine.

In addition to selling narcotics, Blue, Maldonado, and Maldonado-Irizarry admitted to purchasing, selling, and possessing illegal firearms used for protection and enforcement of their narcotics operation. As part of their guilty pleas, Maldonado and Maldonado-Irizarry admitted to possessing three handguns, including a .32 caliber revolver and two .9 mm pistols. Additionally, Maldonado admitted to selling a sawed-off shotgun, and both Maldonado and Blue admitted to illegally selling one shotgun.

to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.

Welcome to

Mount Pleasant Daily Voice!

Serves Mount Pleasant & Valhalla

Get the news you need to know on the go.

Welcome to

Mount Pleasant Daily Voice!

Serves Mount Pleasant & Valhalla

Hi! You've read our articles so we know you like our reporting. To keep reading please join our mailing list.

Get important news about your town as it happens.