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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, February 26, 2018

Operators Of Retail Newburgh Heroin Store Sentenced In White Plains Federal Court

Drug ring conspired to sell heroin out of a retail storefront in Newburgh, NY

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that VICTOR R. RIVAS was sentenced to seven years in prison for his role in operating a retail heroin-selling organization out of a storefront at 427 Broadway in Newburgh.  VICTOR R. RIVAS pled guilty on July 26, 2017, and was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge Kenneth M. Karas.   

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “Victor M. Rivas, together with his sons Julio A. Davila and Victor R. Rivas, and their employees, maintained a shop on a main thoroughfare in Newburgh, within a stone’s throw of a bakery, a church, and a post office, that was open on a daily basis for the sole purpose of selling heroin.  The serious sentences these defendants received prove that those who endanger the community through their distribution of illegal drugs will be brought to justice.”

According to the Complaint, the Indictment, other filings in White Plains federal court, evidence at a hearing, and statements made in court proceedings:

In 2016, Victor M. Rivas, with the assistance of Julio A. Davila, VICTOR R. RIVAS, Ronald L. Matias, a/k/a “Ronald Luis,” and Edward Cardona, ran an organization engaged in the distribution of heroin in Newburgh, New York, from a storefront location at 427 Broadway, alternately held out as a barbershop or soccer shop (the “Soccer Shop”).  The Soccer Shop was open for more than 12 hours a day, seven days a week, for the sole purpose of selling heroin.  Constant foot traffic in and out of the Soccer Shop reflected the volume of heroin the defendants were selling:  Over the course of a year, the organization distributed well over three kilograms of heroin out of the Soccer Shop.

The defendants also maintained a nearby storage unit that they used for, among other things, storing the proceeds of their illegal drug distribution activity.  Law enforcement seized more than $260,000 in cash from the storage unit on the day the defendants were arrested.  Additionally, about $44,000 was seized from VICTOR R. RIVAS and about $5,300 was seized from Davila during the course of the investigation. 

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In addition to the prison term, VICTOR R. RIVAS, 29, of Newburgh, was sentenced to five years of supervised release.

Victor M. Rivas, 52, of Newburgh, the leader of the organization, was previously sentenced to 15 years in prison and five years of supervised release; Davila, 28, of Newburgh, was previously sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison and four years of supervised release; and Matias, 36, of Newburgh, was previously sentenced to five years in prison and four years of supervised release.  Cardona, 35, of Newburgh, is expected to be sentenced in April.

Mr. Berman praised the work of the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, and the New York State Police, and thanked the Drug Enforcement Administration and the City of Newburgh Police Department for their assistance with this investigation.

This case is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division.  Assistant United States Attorneys Jacqueline C. Kelly and Allison Nichols are in charge of the prosecution.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Opioids
Press Release Number: 
18-060
Updated February 26, 2018