Major drug kingpin arrested in Otsego County
OTSEGO COUNTY, N.Y. - Authorities in Otsego County have announced the arrest of a major drug kingpin following a year-long investigation conducted by the Otsego County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigation Division, the Otsego County District Attorney's Office and other law enforcement agencies. The investigation, coined "Operation Gold Rush" resulted in the indictment and arrest of Dante Darren Major, 35, of Hobart, N.Y. on the following felonies: *Operating as a major trafficker - a class A-1 felony, for which he faces up to a 20 year sentence *First-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance - a class A-1 felony, for which he faces up to a 20 year sentence *Two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance - class B felonies, for which he faces up to a 12 years sentence on each count The Sheriff's Office states that roughly 3 1/2 ounces of oxycontin powder were seized during the execution of a search warrant by the Otsego County Sheriff's Office from a County Route 4, Wells Bridge residence in October 2011 and the State Police seized approximately ten ounces of oxycontin powder from an Oneonta residence during December 2011. Authorities say Major acted as the director of the drug trafficking organization for the oxycontin powder that was seized and he made well over $75,000 in profit as a result of the drug sales. Dante Major was indicted by the Otsego County Grand Jury on the above charges on March 19 and a sealed indictment warrant of arrest was issued for his arrest on March 20. He was stopped by the State Police for a traffic violation on State Route 10 in Delhi, NY and later turned over to the Otsego County Sheriff's Office on their warrant. Major was arrested on the sealed indictment by the Otsego County Sheriff's Office and DEA. On March 21, Major was arraigned by a County Court Judge and remanded to the Otsego County Sheriff's Office on $750,000 cash bail or $1,500,000 bond. Major is scheduled to return to County Court on April 20, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. For further proceedings. The following agencies assisted the Otsego County Sheriff's Office and District Attorney's Office during the investigation: DEA agents and the Tactical Diversion Squad form the New york Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration Albany District Office, the Oneonta Police Detective Bureau, the Otsego County District Attorney's Special Investigation Unit, the Otsego County Probation Department, Utica parole officers from the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, thew New York State Department of Health Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, the New York State Police Troop C Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Troops C Major Crimes Unit and the Chenango and Delaware County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigation Divisions. District Attorney John M. Muehl is prosecuting the case. Major, who has two previous felony convictions, can be sentenced as a persistent felony offender if convicted and could face up to 15 years to life in prison. Authorities said the investigation is continuing and further arrests are expected.