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Justice News

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

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

4 Members Of Middletown Drug Trafficking Organization Arrested For Distributing Heroin

Geoffrey S. Berman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today the unsealing of an indictment charging four defendants with a multi-year conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin in or around Middletown, New York.  Three defendants were arrested today in Orange County, New York, and were presented this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul E. Davison, who ordered the defendants held without bail.  One additional defendant was arrested today in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and was presented in federal court in that district. 

As alleged in the Indictment,[1] from at least in or about 2015 up to and including in or about 2018, LUIS ORTIZ, a/k/a “Colla,” FELIX VELEZ, CARMEN TORRES, a/k/a “Evaliz,” and JOSE COLON conspired to distribute one kilogram and more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of heroin.  

The defendants each face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, and a mandatory minimum term of 10 years in prison.  The statutory maximum and minimum penalties are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencings of the defendants would be determined by the respective judges.

Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI, the New York State Police, the City of Middletown Police Department, and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

This case is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division.  Assistant United States Attorney Emily Deininger is in charge of the prosecution.   


[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Indictment and the descriptions of the Indictment set forth herein constitute only of allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 
Updated April 10, 2019