Further arrests were announced Thursday of individuals involved in a major heroin drug trafficking organization in Oneonta, Otsego deputies said in a media release.
Azar Karef Hughes, 24, Oneonta, who formerly resided in the Bronx, was arrested and arraigned Monday on two counts of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance for selling heroin to another person in Oct. and Nov. 2012 in the city of Oneonta.
Daniel Patrick Parrotte, 24, Pine Plains, who formerly resided in Wells Bridge, was arrested and arraigned Monday on one count of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance for selling heroin to another person in Oct. 2012 in the city of Oneonta.
Both appeared were arraigned Monday morning on drug sale charges in the Otsego County Court by Judge John F. Lambert, deputies said.
Over the past two and a half years, Otsego County Sheriff’s Office criminal investigation division, the Albany district office of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Oneonta police detective bureau and county District Attorney’s office have been investigating the illegal trafficking of heroin into and throughout Otsego County. A variety of investigative techniques were used by law enforcement throughout the ongoing investigation called “Operation Dial Tone.”
Both were arrested Dec. 7 on third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and fourth-degree conspiracy, after a traffic stop in the town of Oneonta, when 209 packets of heroin were found.
Hughes was remanded back to Otsego county jail where he was sent on $25,000 bail following the stop, and bail on the new charge was set at $25,000. Parrotte was released on his own recognizance to family, deputies said.
Both are scheduled to reappear in Otsego County Court on May 6 to answer their sales and possession charges. Hughes faces up to 18 years in prison on his charges and Parrotte faces nine, deputies said. The cases are being prosecuted by District Attorney John M. Muehl.
Sheriff Richard J. Devlin, Jr. stated: “These arrests once again indicate the nature of the problem we are up against. Putting together cases like these are arduous and time consuming. But any time we can take drugs off the street we feel we have attempted our goal of making Otsego County a safer place to live.”
The narcotics trafficking investigation is continuing, and further arrests are expected for those who conspired with the drug trafficking organization to sell heroin in Otsego County.