Hoovler Announces State Prison Sentence in Cocaine and Pill Conspiracy Case

September 16, 2020

Defendant Sentenced to a Total of Nine to Eighteen Years in State Prison

“Operation Bread, White and Blues” Targeted Narcotics Distributors and
Outlaw Motorcycle Club Members

Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced on Tuesday, September 15, 2020, Robert Dunham, 47, of Middletown, was sentenced by Orange County Court Judge Craig Brown to a total of nine to eighteen years in state prison in connection with the enforcement action dubbed “Operation Bread, White and Blues.” On April 25, 2019, Dunham had pleaded guilty to Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree and Conspiracy in the Second Degree. Dunhan was sentenced to nine years in state prison and five years post-release supervision on the charge of Criminal Sale on a Controlled Substance in the First Degree and six to eighteen years in state prison on the charge of Conspiracy in the Second Degree. The sentences were ordered to run concurrently resulting in Dunham having a combined sentence of nine to eighteen years in state prison.

Indictments arising from the “Operation Bread, White and Blues” enforcement action outlined two separate conspiracies, one of which primarily involved members and associates of self-professed “outlaw” motorcycle clubs trafficking cocaine, and another of which involved the sale of narcotic pills which were represented to contain oxycodone, but which actually contained fentanyl, a highly addictive and frequently lethal narcotic. The name of the operation referred to the co-conspirators’ use of the term “bread” to mean money they obtained through the sale of narcotics, “white” to represent the cocaine which was sold, and “blues” to represent the blue-colored pills which were being trafficked. Most of the defendants in the action were arrested in a series of early morning raids and search warrant executions which occurred on Tuesday, February 5, 2019.

Dunham was alleged to have been a member of both conspiracies. At the time that he pleaded guilty, Dunham admitted having sold over two ounces of cocaine on October 4, 2018 in furtherance of one of the conspiracies.

On February 5, 2019, members of the New York State Police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team aided by the New York State Police Special Operations Response Team and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, had executed multiple search warrants and made over twenty arrests throughout Orange County and Rockland County. The arrests and search warrant executions were a result of a six-month-long narcotics investigation. Law enforcement officials recovered more than $500,000, 25 handguns, one assault rifle, multiple rifles, ten vehicles, two motorcycles, over 2.5 pounds of cocaine and 1300 Fentanyl pills.

The New York State Police were assisted by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

District Attorney Hoovler highly commended the New York State Police for their investigation given the complexity of the case.

Assistant District Attorney Neal Eriksen and Senior Assistant District Attorney David Byrne prosecuted the case.

“This defendant was involved in large-level narcotics sales, conspired with others to profit from the potentially lethal substances they were distributing in our County, and epitomizes the exact type of offender who is deserving of a lengthy prison sentence,” said District Attorney David M. Hoovler. “As fatal overdoses in Orange County have risen, a clear message must be sent that narcotics trafficking is destroying the fabric of our society, killing our residents, and must be fought at every level. I hope that the lengthy state prison sentence in this case will deter those tempted to profit from others’ addictions.”

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.