AG James And NYSP Superintendent Corlett Announce Takedown Of Nine Members Of Cocaine And Methamphetamine Trafficking Ring

AG James and NYSP Superintendent Corlett Announce Takedown of Nine Members of Cocaine and Methamphetamine Trafficking Ring

Individuals Charged with 168 Crimes for Trafficking Drugs in the Hudson Valley and NYC 

DUTCHESS COUNTY – Attorney General Letitia James and the New York State Police (NYSP) today announced a 168-count indictment charging nine individuals for their roles in an alleged cocaine and methamphetamine smuggling operation. The investigation, dubbed “Operation Final Cut,” seized more than four pounds of cocaine, one pound of methamphetamine pills, three loaded handguns, and two high-capacity ammunition feeding devices.

“We will continue to go after any individual who tries to profit off of the sale of illegal drugs,” said Attorney General Letitia James. “Not only did these individuals bring dangerous drugs into our communities, but they put their children and families in harm’s way by using their businesses as storefronts for this operation. I thank the New York State Police for their partnership in this investigation and continued work to ensure the safety of all New Yorkers.”

“Each day our members see the harmful effects drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine have on individuals, families and our neighborhoods,” said New York State Police Superintendent Keith M. Corlett. “I applaud the hard work and cooperation between our state, federal, and local law enforcement and another successful investigation that resulted in the dismantling of this illegal drug and weapons trafficking operation. Together, we will continue to aggressively target and pursue criminals who bring dangerous drugs and weapons into our communities, threaten the safety and security of our neighborhoods, and profit at the expense of our citizens."

The year-long investigation, which began with the New York State Police Special Investigations Unit in August 2018, netted alleged dealers and traffickers in Dutchess County, Bronx County, and the State of Florida. The Dutchess County component of the case centered around several businesses in Poughkeepsie, including a pizzeria, café, and barbershop. 

The Attorney General’s investigation included hundreds of hours of physical surveillance, wiretapping, covert cameras, and undercover operations. During the course of wiretapping, conspirators frequently utilized coded and cryptic terminology in an attempt to disguise their illicit trafficking, such as referring to orders of cocaine as “cuts” and “white girl.” 

As alleged in the indictment, cocaine was suppled to Tony Jarrett for resale by Vincenzo Dalia and others to customers in Dutchess County. Dalia additionally purchased quantities of what he believed to be Adderall, but was in fact, methamphetamine from Florida, for resale. Dalia also purchased quantities of what he believed to be ecstasy, but was again methamphetamine, from Matthew Haddad, for resale. Haddad would obtain the pills from his supplier, Christian Myers, and on occasion bring them to Dalia at Dalia’s family-owned pizzeria in Poughkeepsie for resale for customers. During one occasion, Haddad brought his child to a meeting to exchange pills for money.

Law enforcement members effected multiple seizures of cocaine and illegally obtained controlled substance pills as well as three loaded firearms during the course of these drug trafficking activities.

The indictment, unsealed before Dutchess County Court Judge Edward McLoughlin, charged the following nine individuals with 168 crimes, including various counts of A-Felony level and B- and D-Felony level Criminal Sale and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance, and Conspiracy to commit those crimes. 

Those charged in today’s indictment include:

VINCENZO DALIA, 25, of Poughkeepsie, New York
KAREEM DEVAUGHN, 39, of Bronx New York
MATTHEW HADDAD, 33, of Poughkeepsie, New York
TONY JARRETT, 35, of Poughkeepsie, New York
SCOTT MITTELSTAEDT, 47, of Coconut Creek, Florida
CHRISTIAN MYERS, 28, of Poughkeepsie, New York
RISHAD THOMAS, 40, of Poughkeepsie, New York
SEAN WILLINGHAM, 37, of Bronx, New York
JAMAL WIMBUS, 35, of Bronx, New York

The investigation was led by Office of the Attorney General Organized Crime Task Force (OCTF) Investigator David Walsh and OCTF Supervising Investigator Bradford Miller, along with the NYSP Special Investigations Unit. OCTF investigators are supervised by Deputy Chief Christopher Vasta. The Attorney General’s Investigations Division is led by Chief Oliver Pu-Folkes. The Attorney General would also like to thank the U.S. Army National Guard Counterdrug Task Force for their assistance in this investigation.

The case is being prosecuted by OCTF Assistant Deputy Attorney General James Cudden, together with OCTF Analyst Julianna Siklos, under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Lauren Abinanti. Nicole Keary is the Deputy Attorney General in Charge of the Organized Crime Task Force. OCTF is supervised by Chief Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice José Maldonado and First Deputy Attorney General Jennifer Levy.

The charges against the defendants are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.