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16 Arrested; Drugs, Guns, Cash Seized In Hudson Valley Bust

ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Tuesday announced the takedown of a narcotics distribution gang in the Hudson Valley.

"As you can see here, we've recovered a lot of drugs," Schneiderman said. "We've recovered cash. We've recovered guns."

Schneiderman displayed two tables filled with items seized from the sprawling drug ring. He said 16 defendants are charge with selling large amounts of heroin and cocaine in Newburgh and elsewhere in Orange County.

The bust also resulted in the seizure of 2 pounds of methamphetamine, 40 pounds of marijuana, hundreds of doses of heroin, cocaine, five guns and $36,000 in cash.

"Doing an operation like this where you do wiretaps and undercovers and physical surveillance really requires additional resources," Schneiderman said.

The investigation was dubbed ``Operation Yellow Brick Road'' by local and federal authorities. The name stems from suspected ringleader Damion Jackson's street nickname "Toe-Toe."

Schneiderman said the drug ring served as many as 200 clients a day, and many of the customers were drug dealers themselves.

"This was really a vast network dealing deaths," he said.

One of the defendants tried to dispose of his drugs when the Attorney General's office arrived with warrants Tuesday morning, Schneiderman said.

"The primary alleged supplier of cocaine, Kennedy Richards, was attempting to flush a large quantity of cocaine down the toilet, which his plumbing couldn't quite handle," he said.

Officials say several of the suspects are members of the 600 Gang operating out of Newburgh, the hometown of 14 of the 16 people charged. The other two suspects are from Poughkeepsie and Paterson, New Jersey.

The drugs were often purchased in New York City and in Paterson, New Jersey, Schneiderman said.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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