“Operation Chopper” Targeted Narcotics Distributors and
Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs
Final Defendant Sentenced for Operating as a Major Trafficker
Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced that on Thursday, August 31, 2017, Miguel Galvan, 37, of Vernon, New Jersey, was sentenced to ten years in state prison and five years post release supervision in connection with his plea the Class A felony of Operating as a Major Trafficker. Galvan was also sentenced to a $30,000 fine in addition and forfeited $25,000 as part of a 13A forfeiture action.
On January 27, 2017, Galvan had pleaded guilty before Orange County Court Judge Craig Stephen Brown. At the time of his plea, Galvan admitted that he was a “profiteer” in that he arranged devised or planned sales of narcotics so as to obtain profits or expects profits and that he possessed, on one or more occasions within six months or less, a narcotic drug with the intent to sell it and such narcotic drug had an aggregate value of $75,000 or more.
On April 28, 2016, members of the New York State Police Special Investigations Unit, in conjunction with the Orange County District Attorney’s Office and the Sussex County, New Jersey, Prosecutor’s Office, executed multiple search warrants and made over twenty arrests throughout Orange County, surrounding counties in New York, and Sussex County, as a result of a seven-month-long narcotics investigation. Law enforcement officials recovered more than two kilograms of cocaine, most of which they seized in Sussex County. The investigation included the use of electronic surveillance, including wiretaps. In addition to uncovering crimes related to narcotics distribution, the “Operation Chopper” investigation also revealed crimes committed by “outlaw motorcycle clubs”.
District Attorney Hoovler thanked the New York State Police Special Investigations Unit and the Sussex County, New Jersey, Prosecutor’s Office for their efforts in this investigation
District Attorney Hoovler highly commended Assistant District Attorney Kerry Kolek who assisted in the investigation of the case and is prosecuting all of the defendants charged in the operation.
Galvan is the third defendant sentenced to ten years in State Prison in connection to the plea to the Class A Felony of Operation as a Major Trafficker as a result of the investigation. The crime, which was passed by the New York State in 2009, is referred to as the “Drug Kingpin Statute” and is reserved for high level drug dealers. The crime has never been charged by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office prior to District Attorney Hoovler taking Office.
“This defendant was a major supplier of the types of narcotics that are destroying the fabric of our society and killing our residents,” said District Attorney Hoovler. “It is only through coordinated law enforcement actions such as “Operation Chopper” that law enforcement is able to pursue those higher level drug dealers and craftier offenders who attempt to insulate themselves from criminal liability by dealing drugs through intermediaries. My office will continue to use every tool at our disposal, including the use of wiretaps, civil forfeiture actions, and utilizing criminal statutes which have never been charged before in Orange County, to go after high level narcotics dealers.”
A criminal charge is merely an allegation that a defendant has committed a violation of the criminal law, and it is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the State’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.