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More arrests made in Oneonta drug trafficking ring

By NEWSChannel 2 Staff

ONEONTA, N.Y. - More arrests have been made of individuals that authorities say were involved in a major heroin drug trafficking organization in Oneonta.

Over the past two and a half years, the Otsego County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division, the Albany District Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Oneonta City Police Department Detective Bureau and the Otsego County District Attorney’s Office have been investigating the illegal trafficking of heroin into and throughout Otsego County. A variety of investigative techniques were used by law enforcement personnel throughout the ongoing investigation called “Operation Dial Tone”.

Daniel Patrick Parrotte, 24, of Pine Plains, who formerly resided in Wells Bridge, NY and Azar Karef Hughes, 24, of Oneonta, who formerly resided in Bronx, NY were arraigned Monday morning on drug sale charges in the Otsego County Court.

Hughes was arraigned on two counts of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance for selling heroin to another person in October and November 2012 in the City of Oneonta.

Parrotte was arraigned on one count of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance for selling heroin to another person in October 2012 in the City of Oneonta.

Hughes was remanded back to the Otsego County Correctional Facility where he has been since his December 7 arrest following a traffic stop in the Town of Oneonta where 209 packets of heroin were found in a vehicle. The judge set his bail at $25,000.

Parrotte who was also arrested on December 7, was released without bail by the Court.

Both Hughes and Parrotte are scheduled to reappear in the County Court on May 6, 2013 at 10:30 a.m. to answer their sales and possession charges.

Hughes faces up to 18 years in prison on his sales charges and Parrotte faces nine.

The cases are being prosecuted by District Attorney John M. Muehl.

Sheriff Richard J. Devlin, Jr stated “These arrests once again indicate the nature of the problem we are up against. Putting together cases like these are arduous and time consuming. But any time we can take drugs off the street we feel we have attempted our goal of making Otsego County a safer place to live.”

Special Agent in Charge Brian R. Crowell stated, “As we stated after the arrests last December, this collaborative law enforcement team will not rest until every member of this heroin trafficking ring faces justice. From the Bronx source of supply, to the recent arrests of Azar Hughes and Daniel Parrotte who were selling heroin throughout Oneonta, an entire heroin trafficking organization has been dismantled. The heroin threat is significant and our team is committed to protect our public and combine our investigative resources to dismantle organizations profiting from the sale of poison in our communities.”

The narcotics trafficking investigation is continuing and further arrests are expected for those who conspired with the drug trafficking organization to sell heroin in Otsego County.

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