Otsego County Drug Trafficker sentenced to 55 years to life in prison

By WKTV News

OTSEGO COUNTY, N.Y. - A Hobart man has been given the longest sentence ever to a drug trafficker in Otsego County Court.

On Wednesday, January 16, Dante Major was sentenced to 55 years to life. Approximately one year ago, the Otsego County Sheriff's Office, Oneonta Police Department, New York State Parole, New York State Department of Health Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement, Delaware County Sheriff's Office and DEA Albany District Office initiated an investigation into the rampant use and abuse of opiates in the Otsego County area.

Law enforcement identified Major, 36, of Hobart, NY as the major source of supply and distributor of heroin and oxycodone powder throughout Otsego County.

The sentencing was announced by Brian R. Crowell, the Special Agent in Charge of the New York Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration ("DEA") and Richard J. Devlin, Jr, Otsego County Sheriff.

Working from street level dealers to the supply source, Otsego County Sheriff's Office investigators and DEA Special Agents from the Albany District Office made controlled purchases of heroin and oxy powder from retail level dealers working for the head of the drug distribution organization, Dante Major. In October 2011, law enforcement officers executed search warrants and made arrests of retail dealers under the direction of Major.

On March 20, 2012 law enforcement arrested Major in Cooperstown, followed by a trial that led to his conviction in October 2012. This past Wednesday, Major was sentenced in Otsego County by Judge Brian D. Burns to 55 years to life imprisonment and fined $260,000.

"The sentencing of Dante Major should send a clear message to the pill and heroin dealers operating in Otsego County," said DEA Special Agent in Charge Brian R. Crowell. "Some kids who take illegal pills and heroin receive a death sentence via overdose on the spot, and their families are left devastated and destroyed. Prescription pain medication and heroin abuse have similar effects when abused and can lead to overdose and death. Prescription drugs are the second most abused drug by our teens behind marijuana and it is estimated that prescription painkiller overdoses killed nearly 15,000 people in the United States - one life taken away or ruined by opiate abuses is one life too many. The men and women of our task force will not tire or relent in their work to identify, investigate and arrest all those responsible for distributing these deadly drugs into our communities."

Otsego Sheriff Richard J. Devlin stated, "The dismantling of an elaborate drug distribution ring and the sentencing of its leader really brings no joy - only the recognition that we must continue to tirelessly investigate and prosecute those that distribute illicit drugs in our county. I am extremely proud of this investigation and the partnerships formed by the agencies involved. Dante Major and his organization's trafficking activities clearly supplied drug users in numerous counties and a wide variety of locations. They are directly responsible for destroying many lives and families. Because of the size and scope of this activity, the sentence is appropriate and I commend everyone involved for their persistence in investigating this matter and their dedication to justice.

SAC Crowell recognizes and appreciates the agencies that assisted the Otsego County Sheriff's Office and the DEA Albany District Office who conducted this investigation including; the Oneonta Police Department, the Otsego County District Attorney's Office, New York State Parole, New York State Department of Health Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement and the Delaware County Sheriff's Office.

What's On