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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of New York

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Ten Indicted in Dismantling of Plattsburgh Heroin Distribution Ring

PLATTSBURGH, NEW YORK – Ten people have been indicted for their involvement in a heroin distribution ring operating in the Plattsburgh area.

The announcement was made by Acting United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith; Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt, New York Division, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); and Clinton County Sheriff David Favro.

Two indictments charge the following people with conspiracy to distribute heroin:

  • Kyle Touchstone, age 29, of Plattsburgh;
  • Melissa Kusalonis, a.k.a. “Mel,” “Liss,” age 35, of Plattsburgh;
  • Jimolo Coates, a.k.a. “Lo,” “Marlo,” “Brodie,” age 24, of Annapolis, Maryland;
  • Tynaejah Thompson, a.k.a. “Naee,” age 19, of Annapolis, Maryland;
  • Kiara Scott, age 28, of Annapolis, Maryland;
  • Anthony DeFilippo, a.k.a “Flip,” age 35, of Schenectady, New York;
  • Charles Adams, a.k.a. “Chuck, age 31, of Peru, New York;
  • Travynn Ippolito, a.k.a “Trav,” age 29, of Plattsburgh;
  • Luke Kiroy, age 32, of Saranac, New York; and
  • Danielle Conners, age 31, of Plattsburgh.

The charges in the indictments are merely accusations. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

According to the indictments and criminal complaints previously filed in the case, from June 2016 through May 2017, the defendants transported heroin from Annapolis, Maryland, and Schenectady, New York, and sold it in the Plattsburgh area. Kiroy, a New York State Corrections Officer, was working at Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York, prior to his arrest on June 20, 2017.

Acting United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith stated: “The deadly effects of heroin are felt in our communities, but the groups profiting from spreading this poison are often found elsewhere. As this case illustrates, we are committed to collaboration with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to combat the scourge of heroin in our area, and to pursue and dismantle drug trafficking organizations wherever they may be found.”

DEA Special Agent in Charge James Hunt stated: “Heroin has been a plague to public health causing record numbers of overdoses in New York State. This investigation highlights law enforcement’s commitment to dismantling opioid trafficking organizations responsible for fueling addiction and death in neighborhoods across the nation.”

Clinton County Sheriff David Favro stated: “The result of this lengthy investigation will remove elements from our community that have proven to be life-threatening. Let the message resonate to all that the Clinton County Sheriff will continue to partner with local, state, and federal agencies to provide a safe and healthy community for our residents and guests.”

If convicted, Touchstone and Coates would each face at least 10 years and up to life in prison. Kusalonis, Thompson, and Adams would each face at least 5 years and up to 40 years in prison. DeFlippo, Ippolito, Conners, Kiroy, and Scott would each face up to 20 years in prison. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.

The indictments are the result of an investigation led by the DEA Task Force in Plattsburgh, which consists of law enforcement officers from the DEA, Homeland Security Investigations, United States Border Patrol, New York State Police, Clinton County Sherriff’s Office, Essex County Sheriff’s Office, and the Plattsburgh Police Department. The New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision also assisted in the investigation.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Cyrus P.W. Rieck and Katherine Kopita.

Drug Trafficking
Updated July 13, 2017