CARMEL – Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith reports that a large quantity of heroin has been seized, and two men from Brewster have been arrested following a joint investigation by county and federal law enforcement into drug trafficking in the area.
Francisco R. Osorio Sagastume, aged 18, of Brewster, and Eduardo Paiz-Ortega, aged 21, of the Village, were arrested on Dec. 8.
Sagastume was taken into custody on Friday evening after he was pulled over by sheriff’s deputies and investigators as he was driving a vehicle in the Village.
Deputy Sheriff Christopher Irwin and his K-9 partner Kato assisted in searching the vehicle and allegedly found about one kilo of heroin within it, according to Sheriff Smith.
Paiz-Ortega was arrested later on Friday evening, when authorities armed with a search warrant went to an apartment that he occupied in Brewster and took him into custody there.
A search of that apartment allegedly yielded approximately another kilo of heroin, according to Sheriff Smith.
The combined quantities of heroin seized in the case have an estimated street value of $200,000.00.
According to investigators, it is one of the largest such seizures of the drug ever recorded in Putnam County.
Senior Investigator Thomas Corless, who heads the Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Enforcement Unit, credited a caller’s tip to the Sheriff’s Office Drug Hotline (845-225-DRUG) for initiating the investigation in the case. As the investigation progressed, it widened to involve the joint efforts of the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, the Putnam County District Attorney’s Office, the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration and the United States Attorneys’ Office for the Southern District of New York.
The defendants were arrested on state charges of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree, a class A-I felony that could be punishable by up to 20 years’ imprisonment upon conviction, said Sheriff Smith.
The investigation is continuing and additional charges are expected to be filed in the case.