By Mark Gerlach
CITY OF NEWBURGH – A drug sweep targeting the outside of the Center For Recovery located at 3 Commercial Pl. has resulted in about 22 area residents receiving felony drug charges.
The area outside of the center, which offers substance abuse treatment, had become a “hot bed of illicit drug activity,” a statement from the Orange County Drug Task Force said. The sting began in March.
Undercover officers purchased drugs outside the clinic as part of the investigation. Mostly prescription drugs were involved in the sales, such as: methadone, clonazepam, oxycodone and Adderall.
The investigation was largely sparked by complaints made by the community. Clinic patients “were being accosted by drug dealers trying to sell them drugs as they left the clinic,” the statement said.
The announcement was made at a press conference Thursday afternoon at the corner of Commercial Place and Dickson Street. Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler, Orange County Sheriff Carl DuBois and City of Newburgh Police Chief Daniel Cameron attended the conference, among others.
“Prescription medication abuse is at epidemic rates nationwide,” DuBois said.
A majority of the suspects were charged with felony criminal sale of a controlled substance. Two of the suspects hailed from New Windsor. Seven from Newburgh. One from Rock Tavern. One from the Bronx. Twenty-two defendants were charged in total. Other areas included Port Jervis, Pine Bush, Wallkill, Monroe, Middletown and Sparrowbush.