Nine indicted in Hudson Valley/NYC drug ring

Attorney General Letitia James and the New York State Police 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.

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.”

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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
  • Kareem Devaughn, 39, of the Bronx
  • Matthew Haddad, 33, of Poughkeepsie
  • Tony Jarrett, 35, of Poughkeepsie
  • Scott Mittelstaedt, 47, of Coconut Creek, Florida
  • Christian Myers, 28, of Poughkeepsie
  • Rishad Thomas, 40, of Poughkeepsie
  • Sean Willingham, 37, of the Bronx
  • Jamal Wimbus, 35, of the Bronx

As alleged in the indictment, cocaine was supplied 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.

“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.”

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