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Press Release

Newburgh Man Charged With Drug Trafficking And Firearms Offenses

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York

Audrey Strauss, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, William F. Sweeney Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and Arnold Amthor, Chief of the City of Newburgh Police Department, announced that ALBERTO RIVERA, a Newburgh resident, was arrested this morning and charged with possession with intent to distribute narcotics, possessing a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime, and being a felon in possession of a firearm in connection with an incident that occurred in the City of Newburgh on October 1, 2020.  RIVERA will be presented before United States Magistrate Judge Paul E. Davison in White Plains federal court later today.

Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said:  “Thanks to the quick work of a City of Newburgh detective, Alberto Rivera was apprehended while allegedly illegally in possession of a firearm and carrying illegal narcotics.  Working with the City of Newburgh Police Department and the FBI, we have now charged Rivera with serious federal crimes.”

FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said:  “The community of Newburgh has faced its share of crime, and those who wish to live there peacefully don’t need another reminder of the long list of threats posed by illegal guns and drugs.  Rivera was already on parole for unrelated crimes, the conditions of which he was in violation on the night an on-duty detective noticed him while on patrol.  In an effort to escape arrest, he allegedly tossed the backpack he was carrying, and the contents along with it, aside. Unfortunately for him, that’s not how this works.  Federal charges don’t get tossed to the side, and the penalties they carry are usually pretty severe.”

City of Newburgh Police Chief Arnold Amthor said:  “We commend the excellent work of the detective who arrested Alberto Rivera.  As alleged, Rivera was illegally in possession of a gun at the time.  This department is committed to making the City of Newburgh safer, and to working with the FBI and federal prosecutors to do so where appropriate.”

According to the allegations contained in the Complaint[1]:

On October 1, 2020, around 1:24 p.m., a City of Newburgh detective, who was familiar with RIVERA and knew a warrant had been issued for RIVERA for absconding on parole, spotted RIVERA riding a bicycle on Broadway in the City of Newburgh.  When the detective stopped his vehicle in RIVERA’s path, RIVERA fled the scene, tossing a backpack containing a firearm and large quantity of narcotics as he ran from the detective.  The detective gave chase and apprehended RIVERA in the backyard of a nearby pizzeria.  Detectives recovered the backpack from the same backyard.

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RIVERA, 25, of Newburgh, New York, is charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute narcotics, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; one count of carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison; and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.  The statutory maximum penalties are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant would be determined by the judge.

Ms. Strauss praised the outstanding investigative work of the City of Newburgh Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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

The charges contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


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


James Margolin, Nicholas Biase
(212) 637-2600

Updated October 13, 2020

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Press Release Number: 20-233