DA Hoovler & Port Jervis Chief Worden detail major drug arrests

May 3, 2023

Port Jervis Police Chief William Worden and District AttorneyDavid M. Hoovler Announce

Arrests in Narcotics Sales Case

Three Men from Western Orange County Charged after MonthLong Investigation

City of Port Jervis Police Chief William Worden and Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced that Tony Caperna, age 38, Anthony J. Cuttler, age 38, and Jesse W. Johnson,age 28, have been arrested after an investigation into narcotics trafficking throughout the western region of Orange County, N.Y.

Port Jervis City Police conducted the month-long investigation in collaboration with the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, the New York State Police Violent Gang and Narcotics Enforcement Team (VGNET), the Orange County Drug Task Force, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the City of Middletown Police Department, the Pike County (PA) District Attorney’s Office, and the Hudson Valley Crime Analysis Center (CAC).

The investigation culminated on April 27th, 2023, with the arrest of the aforementioned defendants. During the course of the investigation, police seized a total of approximately 114 grams of powder cocaine, 88 grams of suspected Fentanyl synthetic opioidpackaged in pill form, 12 Suboxone Sublingual films, a digital scale, packaging materials, and a quantity of United States Currency.

Tony Caperna was charged with Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Second Degree, a class A-II felony, two counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, a class B felony, and Criminal Use of Drug Paraphernalia, a class A misdemeanor. He was arraigned in the Centralized Arraignment Part and remanded to the Orange County Jail without bail.

Anthony Cuttler was charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, a class B felony. As the charge was not bail eligible, he was released with an appearance ticket to return to court on a later date.  In 2019, “bail reform” legislation was enacted that severely limits the courts’ ability to set bail for offenses involving narcotics sales. In narcotics sweeps in Orange County prior to the legislation, some bail was set by the court for almost all defendants charged with selling narcotics.

Jesse Johnson was charged with Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Second Degree, a class A-II felony, and with being a Fugitive from Justice, being wanted by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He was arraigned in the Centralized Arraignment Part and remanded to Orange County Jail without bail pending extradition proceedings.

“This case demonstrates yet another example of effective, collaborative work between multiple law enforcement agencies to address narcotics trafficking across our region,” said City of Port Jervis Police Chief William Worden. “People who choose to peddle deadly, highly addictive drugs in the City of Port Jervis will be identified and investigated, regardless of the geographical area where they operate. Our partnerships exemplify law enforcement’s answer to this issue.”

“We will continue to collaborate with our law enforcement partners in aggressively investigating and arresting those responsible for trafficking drugs in our communities,” said New York State Police Troop F Commander, Major Paul M. DeQuarto.

“The quantities of narcotics being trafficked in western Orange County is simply staggering,” said District Attorney David M. Hoovler. “It is only through the coordinated actions of variouslaw enforcement agencies working together, such as was demonstrated in this case, that we can stop those higher-level dealers who possess and deal large quantities of narcotics.  I am grateful to all the law enforcement agencies that dedicated their resources to this case. I am particularly thankful that the City of Port Jervis Police Department had the foresight to coordinatewith other agencies to maximize the impact of these narcotics enforcement efforts.”

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Alexis Gregory.

A criminal charge is merely an allegation by the police 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 of New York’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.