Twelve Hudson Valley drug traffickers convicted

According to New York Attorney General Letitia James, twelve members of a drug trafficking organization that flooded Hudson Valley and Capital Region communities with illegal drugs have been convicted. Distributing cocaine, counterfeit Xanax tablets, heroin, and methamphetamine under the guise of prescription drugs put public safety and health at risk.

Defendants were convicted after an eleven-month investigation into the trafficking network in Ulster, Dutchess, and Saratoga counties. In the investigation, police seized over $1.3 million in narcotics. Seized were 15,000 methamphetamine pills, 11 kilograms of cocaine, 5,000 counterfeit Xanax pills, and 750 heroin tablets. The authorities also found high-capacity magazines, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, 39 firearms, and $120,000 in currency.

Defendants pleaded guilty to felony conspiracy, possession, sale, and weapon charges. In Ulster County Court, Judge Bryan Rounds heard their pleas.

Zachary Vanvlack, Nicholas Lasusa, Robert Curry, Christopher Pulichene, Alton Countryman, Thekla Countryman, and Kevin Drake Jr. are among the convicted individuals. Additionally, Devyn Wolny and Zachary Eaton, Joshua Guldy, and Nicholas Lasusa are also named. The investigation unveiled that Pulichene, which operated an illicit pill distribution network spanning multiple counties, was instrumental in the operation.

Pulichene supplied numerous distributors, including Colon, Eaton, and Vanvlack, with heroin pills masked as hydrocodone and methamphetamine tablets masked as Adderall. In turn, colon distributed these tablets to others, thus perpetuating the distribution cycle. Additionally, Pulichene orchestrated the distribution of cocaine to other participants in the network after Colon, Eaton, and Wolny purchased it.

Pulichene obtained heroin pills from Alton Countryman and methamphetamine pills from a source on the West Coast, respectively, from various locations. The investigation unveiled an intricate and extensive scheme that capitalized on community weaknesses in order to generate revenue through the sale of illicit substances.

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A substantial triumph in the battle against drug trafficking in the Hudson Valley has been achieved with the effective prosecution of these individuals. Attorney General James pledged to continue working to protect communities from the peril of drug trafficking and emphasized the significance of interagency cooperation in dismantling such criminal enterprises.

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