New York, NY - August 8, 2017 - Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced the guilty plea of Jason Brewster, a major heroin distributor who sold drugs in Dutchess County. Brewster, of Poughkeepsie, pled guilty today to Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree, a class A-1 felony. He will be sentenced on September 5th to 10 years in state prison.
As uncovered during a joint investigation involving the Attorney General's Organized Crime Task Force (OCTF) and the New York State Police Special Investigations Unit (SIU), with assistance from the Dutchess County Drug Task Force (DCDTF), Brewster initially sold in excess of 260 grams of heroin to an informant, with a street value of more than $16,000. Between October 2015 and February 2016, Brewster made six such sales to the informant. Brewster sold heroin on a regular basis out of his home where children were present, and in other locations in and around Poughkeepsie, including a location right near the S.F.B. Morse Magnet School, located at 101 Mansion Street in the City of Poughkeepsie.
“Deadly drug traffickers like Jason Brewster fuel and exploit the opioid epidemic that’s tearing families apart across New York,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “We will continue to partner with local law enforcement partners to find and prosecute dangerous criminals who deal death in our communities.”
Brewster was apprehended on May 23, 2017 after a fifteen-month manhunt conducted by the Attorney General’s OCTF, NY State Police SIU, and DCDTF. Ultimately, Brewster returned to his Poughkeepsie residence and was captured by law enforcement who had been surveilling the house.
In the past four months alone, Attorney General Schneiderman’s new Suburban and Upstate Response to the Growing Epidemic (“S.U.R.G.E.”) Initiative—a crackdown on New York’s growing heroin, opioid, and narcotics trafficking networks—has resulted in 246 traffickers and dealers taken off the streets across New York, through Operation Bricktown, Operation Un-Wise, Operation Gravy Train, Operation Bloodsport, Operation Pipeline, and Operation Wrecking Ball.
The S.U.R.G.E. Initiative targets gangs and individuals who deal heroin and opioids and commit acts of violence in suburban and upstate communities across New York State. The Attorney General's Organized Crime Task Force works closely with federal, state, and local law enforcement to investigate, arrest, and prosecute those criminals.
In addition to prosecuting major drug traffickers, the Attorney General is taking other steps to combat the heroin crisis in New York. Attorney General Schneiderman has obtained settlements with health insurers to remove barriers to life saving treatment for opioid use disorder, spearheaded the I-STOP program to enable doctors and pharmacists to report and track controlled narcotics in real time, and secured an agreement with Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to cut and cap the price of naloxone for all agencies in New York State. The office has also aggressively enforced laws that require parity in health plan coverage of mental health and addiction treatment, reaching agreements with several companies.
This case is being prosecuted by OCTF Assistant Deputy Attorney General Brandi S. Kligman. Deputy Attorney General Peri Alyse Kadanoff runs the Attorney General’s Organized Crime Task Force.