Orange County Drug Indictments Up over 100% in 2014 - Daily Hudson Valley News

Orange County Drug Indictments Up over 100% in 2014

Aug 18th, 2014 | By | Category: Lead Article

Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler released statistics on the number of felony narcotics cases filed in Orange County Court in the first seven months of this year, as compared to filings in the corresponding period of 2013. Those statistics reflect a dramatic increase in the number of drug felonies filed in 2014.

The statistics breakdown:

•      With respect to indictments returned by Orange County grand juries:

•      Total drug indictments increased by 102.5%, with heroin indictments up 154.1% and cocaine indictments up 59.1%.

•      Total drug sale indictments increased by 200%.

In terms of the raw numbers of drug indictments, in the first seven months of 2014 the District Attorney’s Office secured indictments in 164 felony narcotics cases, 99 of which were for drug sales. In contrast, in the same period of 2013, the Office secured indictments in only 81 felony narcotics cases, 33 of which were for drug sales.

•      Taking into account guilty pleas to superior court information, where defendants agree to waive grand jury proceedings and plead guilty to felonies:

•      Total drug felony filings increased by 79.4%, with total felony heroin filings up 118.4% and total cocaine felony filings up 46.6%.

•      Total drug sale felony filings increased by 169.2%.

Many of the 2014 felony filings were the result of the three countywide drug sweeps that the District Attorney’s Office and a number of police agencies conducted in the first five months of the year.

“Drug possession and sale, in addition to being serious crimes themselves, are the root of most of the violent and property crimes in Orange County,” said District Attorney Hoovler. “As I, County Executive Neuhaus, and Sheriff DuBois have said before, this Office and this county are committed to a three-part attack on the drug problem, focusing first on educating our citizens to keep them off drugs in the first place; treating those who are addicted; and, only after education and treatment have failed, using vigorous enforcement of the drug laws to deal with those whose drug activity has an adverse impact on our communities. I fully expect that about a fifth of those charged with felony drug offenses will be diverted to treatment, to get them off drugs. For the rest, this Office’s enhanced focus on narcotics prosecution will continue.”

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