Investigators: "heroin threat significant" in Otsego County

By WBNG News

Credit: MGN Online

Investigators: "heroin threat significant" in Otsego County

April 4, 2013 Updated Apr 4, 2013 at 4:32 PM EDT

Cooperstown, NY (WBNG Binghamton) A major heroin drug trafficking investigation in Otsego County has spanned more than two years and continues to result in arrests of suspects.

The Otsego County Sheriff's Office brought new charges against Azar Karef Hughes, 24, of Oneonta. Hughes was arraigned on two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance. Investigators said he sold heroin to a person in October and November 2012 in the City of Oneonta.

Hughes was previously arrested on December 7, 2012 after 209 packets of heroin were found in a vehicle during a traffic stop in the Town of Oneonta. He has been in the Otsego County jail since that arrest and was returned to the jail after his arraignment on the new charges.

Daniel Patrick Parrotte 24, of Pine Plains is charged with one count of criminal sale of a controlled substance for selling heroin to a person in October 2012 in the City of Oneonta. Parotte had also been arrested on December 7, 2012 and released.

Otsego County District Attorney John Muehl will prosecute their cases. If convicted, Hughes could be sentenced to up to 18 years in prison and Parotte's sentence could be up to 9 years.

Otsego County Sheriff Richard Devlin 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."

The Sheriff and District Attorney's office have been working with Oneonta Police and the New York Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration on an investigation called "Operation Dial Tone" for the past two and a half years. The investigation has focused on the trafficking of heroin around Otsego County.

"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," said Brian Crowell, Special Agent in Charge.

"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,” said Crowell.

Further arrests are expected in the investigation.