AG: Poughkeepsie Pizzeria, Café, Barbershop Linked Drug Ring
A longtime Hudson Valley pizzeria, cafe and barbershop were all linked to an alleged major drug ring that led to a 168-count indictment and a number of locals arrested.
On Friday, New York State Attorney General Letitia James and New York State Police announced a 168-count indictment charging nine people for their roles in an alleged cocaine and methamphetamine smuggling operation in the Hudson Valley and New York City.
The investigation, dubbed “Operation Final Cut,” seized more than four pounds of cocaine, one pound of methamphetamine pills, three loaded handguns and two high-capacity ammunition feeding devices, officials say.
The year-long investigation, which began with the New York State Police Special Investigations Unit in August 2018, netted alleged dealers and traffickers in Dutchess County, Bronx County and the State of Florida.
The Dutchess County part of the case centered around several businesses in Poughkeepsie, including a pizzeria, café, and barbershop, according to the Attorney General's Office.
“We will continue to go after any individual who tries to profit off of the sale of illegal drugs,” James said. “Not only did these individuals bring dangerous drugs into our communities, but they put their children and families in harm’s way by using their businesses as storefronts for this operation. I thank the New York State Police for their partnership in this investigation and continued work to ensure the safety of all New Yorkers.”
The following were arrested:
- Vincenzo Daila, 25, of Poughkeepsie, New York
- Kareem DeVaughn, 39, of Bronx New York
- Matthew Haddad, 33, of Poughkeepsie, New York
- Tony Jarrett, 35, of Poughkeepsie, New York
- Scott Mittelstaedt, 47, of Coconut Creek, Florida
- Christian Myers, of Poughkeepsie, New York
- Rishad Thomas, of Poughkeepsie, New York
- Sean Willingham, 37, Bronx, New York
- Jamal Wimbus, 35, of Bronx, New York
As alleged in the indictment, cocaine was supplied to Tony Jarrett for resale by Vincenzo Dalia and others to customers in Dutchess County. Dalia additionally purchased quantities of what he believed to be Adderall, but was in fact, methamphetamine from Florida, for resale. Dalia also purchased quantities of what he believed to be ecstasy, but was again methamphetamine, from Matthew Haddad, for resale. Haddad would obtain the pills from his supplier, Christian Myers, and on occasion bring them to Dalia at Dalia’s family-owned pizzeria in Poughkeepsie for resale for customers. On one occasion, Haddad brought his child to a meeting to exchange pills for money.
Dalia is the owner of TJ's Pizza on Main Street in Poughkeepsie, according to Dalia's social media. TJ's Pizza has been in business for over 40 years, according to the pizzeria's Facebook.
The Attorney General’s investigation included hundreds of hours of physical surveillance, wiretapping, covert cameras and undercover operations. During the course of wiretapping, conspirators frequently utilized coded and cryptic terminology in an attempt to disguise their illicit trafficking, such as referring to orders of cocaine as “cuts” and “white girl,” officials say.