Orange County DA David M. Hoovler, Orange County Sheriff Carl E. DuBois and City of Port Jervis Police Chief William Worden Announce Arrests Stemming from Long Term Investigation into Paterson to Port Jervis Drug Connection
Two defendants charged with Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree and Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Second Degree for selling a total of three ounces of Crack-Cocaine and 650 bags of fentanyl to an Undercover Police Officer
Several Month-Long Joint Investigation conducted by the City of Port Jervis Port Jervis Police Department and the Orange County Drug Task Force, aided by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, focused on drugs coming from Paterson, New Jersey into the City of Port Jervis and surrounding areas
Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler. Orange County Sheriff Carl E. DuBois and City of Port Jervis Police Chief William Worden announced that on July 5, 2022, Khalif Johnson, age 22, and Zakhi Jenkins, age 19, both of Paterson, New Jersey, were each charged with crimes including Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree and Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Second Degree, for having sold a total of three ounces of crack-cocaine and 650 bags of fentanyl to undercover police officers between June 22, 2022 and July 5, 2022. The arrests were the result of several-month long joint investigation conducted by the City of Port Jervis Police Department and the Orange County Drug Taskforce, who with the assistance of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, targeted the trafficking of large amounts of crack-cocaine and fentanyl from Paterson, New Jersey, into Port Jervis and surrounding communities. During the investigation, police recovered three ounces of crack-cocaine and approximately 1150 bags of fentanyl as well as over $6,000.00 in United States currency.
In 2022, the City of Port Jervis Police Department joined the Orange County Drug Task Force. That Task Force, which was created in 2015, is run under the supervision of a Senior Criminal Investigator from the District Attorney’s Office and a Senior Investigator from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. In addition to personnel from those agencies and the City of Port Jervis Police Department, the Drug Task Force is composed of police officers from other Orange County police departments, including Town of Wallkill Police Department. The Drug Task Force assists other agencies in conducting narcotics investigations, including undercover investigations, throughout the County.
“The dangers presented by fentanyl and crack-cocaine are all too well known,” said District Attorney David M. Hoovler. “I commend the City of Port Jervis Police Department and the Orange County Drug Task Force for recognizing one of the major pathways that these potentially lethal substances are flowing through to reach our communities, and most importantly for taking action to stop those trafficking these dangerous drugs. It is only through the coordinated action of law enforcement agencies, in conjunction with support from municipal leaders and community groups, that those who suffer from addiction can be freed from these substances and the traffickers that prey on their addiction.”
Chief William stated, “I am very proud of the continued efforts of our law enforcement team and their diligent work to disrupt the trafficking of crack cocaine and heroin containing fentanyl directly from Paterson New Jersey to our community. We will continue to proactively investigate the illicit sales of narcotic drugs, especially crack cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl, in our community, and work tirelessly with our law enforcement partners and community to identify drug dealers and hold them legally accountable for their actions.”
Orange County Sheriff Carl E. DuBois stated, “My office’s commitment to the task force is again demonstrated by these recent arrests. Low level street dealers or high-level suppliers will always be in our crosshairs to protect the people in Orange County.”
Both defendants were arraigned and remanded without bail to the Orange County Jail pending action by the Orange County Grand Jury. Each defendant faces up to twenty in prison if convicted.
The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Neal Eriksen and 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.