By Denise Richardson Staff Writer
The Daily Star
---- — Two Oneonta couples have been arrested on felony drug charges after authorities executed a no-knock search warrant Saturday, Otsego deputies and Oneonta city police said Monday.
Authorities seized heroin, cocaine and marijuana with an combined estimated street value of more than $23,000, deputies said in a media release.
According to a media release:
• Roy Dejesus Young, 26; and Kristen Lynn Rudnitsky, 23; both of 5 Gardner Place in the city of Oneonta, were charged two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a felony, two counts of second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia, and fifth-degree criminal possession of marijuana, misdemeanors.
Michel Steven Harabet, 43, and Melissa Dawn Rotolo, 40, both of 5059 State Route 23 in Oneonta, were charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a felony.
Otsego County Sheriff Richard Devlin Jr., special agent in charge Brian R. Crowell of the state division of the Drug Enforcement Administration and Oneonta Police Chief Dennis Nayor announced the arrests after a month-long investigation.
The Sheriff’s Office Special Enforcement Bureau executed a no-knock narcotics search warrant at the home of Young and Rudnitsky early Saturday morning. Bureau members, including a K-9 team, sheriff’s investigators, DEA special agents and police detectives and uniformed officers searched the couple’s second-floor apartment.
Deputy Keith Sheldon and K-9 Ricky found 17 grams of heroin with a street value of $11,220 and 51 grams of cocaine and/or crack cocaine with a street value of $10,220 that were hidden in the apartment, the release said. K-9
Ricky also located 47 grams of marijuana packaged for sale with a street value of about $450 in the residence, the release said. A box of glassine envelopes, an electronic digital scale and $5,128 in currency also were found.
Later on Saturday afternoon, investigators developed leads that Harabet and Rotolo would be in possession of crack cocaine in Oneonta, deputies said. Deputies and city police conducted surveillance, and Rotolo and Harabet were found to be in possession of 10 grams of crack cocaine valued at $2,000 while walking on Gardner Place. Deputies seized $211 from Harabet’s possession.
Young and Rudnitsky were arraigned Saturday afternoon before Oneonta City Court Judge Lucy Bernier and sent to Otsego County jail on $25,000 bail and $15,000, respectively. Young, convicted on a drug-sale charge from a previous sheriff’s case, faces up to 12 years in prison, deputies said, and Rudnitsky faces up to nine years incarceration if convicted.
Harabet and Rotolo were held in the city lockup overnight and arraigned before Bernier on Sunday morning. Both defendants were sent to jail on $25,000 bail, deputies said, and they face up to 5½ years in prison if convicted on pending drug possession charges.
The four defendants are to re-appear in Oneonta City Court this morning for further proceedings.