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Local News

January 22, 2013

Officials say drug sentence is warning to dealers

The multidecade sentence imposed on a drug kingpin last week is a warning that narcotics trafficking won’t be tolerated in the area, state and local law enforcement officials said.

Dante Major, 36, of Hobart, was sentenced to 55 years to life in prison Wednesday by Otsego County Judge Brian D. Burns.

Major, who had been convicted in October after a jury trial, was sentenced to 55 years to life imprisonment and fined a total of $260,000 for operating as a major trafficker and three counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, all felonies. He is to serve the four sentences, ranging between 10 and 20 years consecutively.

Burns and other judges in Otsego County have no tolerance for drug trafficking, Otsego County District Attorney John Muehl said Monday night. Major’s sentence was “exactly what I expected,’’ Muehl said.

“He got the sentenced that he deserved — hopefully it will send a message to other people who want to sell drugs in Otsego County,’’ Muehl said. Settling on a number of families affected by the trafficking in Major’s organization is difficult, the district attorney said.

Major was identified as the primary supplier and distributor of heroin and oxycodone powder throughout Otsego County, according to a media release issued last week by Brian R. Crowell, special agent in charge with the state Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration, and Sheriff Richard Devlin Jr. of Otsego County.

Prescription drugs are the second most abused drug by teenagers behind marijuana, Crowell said, and Major’s sentencing should send a clear message to dealers.

“The men and women of our task force will not tire or relent in their work to identify, investigate and arrest all those responsible for distributing these deadly drugs into our communities,’’ Crowell said in the release. “One life taken away or ruined by opiate abuses is one life too many.’’

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