District Attorney Hoovler: Operation Final Blow Defendant Pleads Guilty

December 9, 2022

District Attorney Hoovler: Operation Final Blow Defendant
Pleads Guilty

Defendant Pled Guilty to Conspiracy in the Second Degree and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Second Degree

Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced that on Monday, December 5, 2022, Joseph Bruno, 44, of Port Jervis, pled guilty in Orange County Court to Conspiracy in the Second Degree and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Second Degree. Under the plea agreement announced on the record at the time that Bruno pled guilty, it is anticipated that Bruno will be sentenced to an aggregate term of ten to twenty-one (10-21) years in state prison and five (5) years of post-release supervision. As part of his plea, Bruno agreed to forfeit $55,364 and three vehicles as fruits of his crimes.

Bruno was arrested as a result of an over four-month-long investigation designed to disrupt major narcotics trafficking in the City of Port Jervis and surrounding areas, including Pike County, Pennsylvania. The investigation, dubbed “Operation Final Blow,” was initially started by the City of Port Jervis Police Department, the Orange County Drug Task Force, the New York State Police Violent Gang and Narcotics Enforcement Team, the Pike County Criminal Investigations Division of the Pike County District Attorney’s Office, and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, and included the use of court ordered eavesdropping, as well as the execution of seventeen search warrants. Other law enforcement agencies who provided crucial aid in the investigation included the Town of Deerpark Police Department, the City of Middletown Police Department, the Town of Wallkill Police Department, the Pennsylvania State Police, the New Jersey State Police, the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office, the Sussex County Guns, Gang and Narcotics Taskforce, and the Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office. Federal agencies who aided in the operation included Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), the FBI’s Safe Streets Taskforce and the United States Marshall’s Service Fugitive Task Force.
Search warrants executed during the investigation resulted in the seizure of approximately two kilograms of cocaine, 74 grams of heroin, 165 grams of fentanyl, 1,600 ecstasy pills and 235 pills containing oxycodone, as well as seven illegally possessed firearms and $153,690. Eleven automobiles, four motorcycles and two ATVs were also taken into evidence.
District Attorney Hoovler thanked all the state, local and federal law enforcement officials who aided in the investigation and eventual apprehension of Bruno.

“This case exemplifies the benefits of coordinated and dedicated enforcement actions by police and prosecutors,” said District Attorney David M. Hoovler. “The operation helped to disrupt the flow of narcotics being trafficked in the western part of Orange County by bringing the higher-level dealers, including this defendant, to justice. I applaud the cooperation amongst the varied law enforcement agencies who conducted a careful investigation that led to the conviction of this defendant. My Office will continue to prioritize the investigation and prosecution of drug dealers who peddle their poison in Orange County.”

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Neal Eriksen and Alexis Gregory.

This 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 of New York’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.