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“Operation Chopper” defendants plead guilty to drug charges

GOSHEN – Nine people pled guilty in Orange County Court on Thursday to felonies for operating as a major trafficker of drugs and for the felony of enterprise corruption.

The pleas are part of a total of 19 people arrested in “Operation Chopper,” where the defendants were part of a motorcycle gang that distributed cocaine through Orange County and surrounding areas, said District Attorney David Hoovler.

“You have significant pleas that occurred in Orange County, some of the most significant that we have had in the last 15 years when it comes to drugs and the two ever pleas to enterprise corruption where two individuals were charged as part of a motorcycle gang as being the command and control elements of an organized criminal enterprise,” said Hoovler.

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Hell's Angel sentenced to 18 months in prison

Moran was charged for a 2006 attack on a bar patron with a baseball bat


U.S. Attorney William Hochul announced on Tuesday that Robert W. Moran, Jr. aka Bugsy, 64, of Rochester, who was convicted of conspiracy to commit assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering activity, was sentenced to 18 months in prison. 

Moran was also prohibited from being a member of the Hell’s Angels for a year after his release from prison.

According to U.S. Attorneys, on May 31, 2006, Moran – a member and officer of the Rochester Hell’s Angels – assaulted a patron at Spenders Bar on Lyell Avenue with a baseball bat. Moran beat the patron in the head and body with the bat after the patron made disparaging remarks about motorcycle clubs, including the Hell’s Angels.

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Biker club president pleads not guilty in Kingsmen murders

The national president of the Kingsmen motorcycle club pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to federal charges that he ordered the executions of two Buffalo-area club members in September 2014.

With the parents of one of the victims sitting about 15 feet away, David John Pirk, 65, made his first Buffalo court appearance. Pirk and 15 other Kingsmen members were indicted five weeks ago in a gang violence case involving claims of murder, intimidation, drug dealing, gun trafficking and other crimes.

Pirk, a resident of Eustis, Fla., who grew up in Niagara County, has been assigned two attorneys because his case is a potential death penalty prosecution. Taxpayers will cover the expenses for both attorneys because Pirk has told authorities he cannot afford to hire an attorney.

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Appeals court upholds firing of trooper over sex parties

A State Police board had a hard time believing a veteran trooper’s claims that he didn’t know prostitutes were offering services and that liquor was being sold without a license when he attended parties at a Buffalo motorcycle club while off duty.

While questioning Frederick Franklin Jr.’s claims of innocence, a state appeals court agreed. It upheld the State Police superintendent’s decision to fire him because he knew about the illegal activities but did nothing to stop them.

A total of four troopers either were fired or resigned because of the parties and the illegal activities associated with them.

During a disciplinary hearing before the three-member board made up of State Police superiors, Franklin had described the pole that strippers used at the club as a “support pole” for the building.

And he said blue tarps that divided a balcony into two areas where strippers provided private sex acts were placed there because of roof damage.

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Cost of Policing Motorcycle Event Questioned

Well into the agenda at the Tuesday (April 22) meeting of the Cold Spring Village Board, a brief memo from Village Accountant Ellen Mageean regarding the cost of extra policing at a Redrum Motorcycle Club event planned for Mayor’s Park this summer gave rise to a lengthy discussion.

Officers from four police departments patrolled Cold Spring during Redrum's fundraiser.

Officers from four police departments patrolled Cold Spring during Redrum’s fundraiser in 2013 (file photo).

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Cop in influence scandal defied superiors in past, records show

A former Nassau sergeant under investigation for his role in the political-influence controversy that cost Police Commissioner Thomas Dale his job defied orders and talked back to frustrated superiors who saw him appeal directly to the commissioner's office to avoid discipline, department records show.

Sgt. Salvatore Mistretta's supervisors filed disciplinary paperwork against him in early October accusing him of inappropriate conduct and tried to discipline him again in late October for insubordination. But Chief of Department Steven Skrynecki told Mistretta's supervisors that it was a "difficult time for the commissioner," and they agreed to delay further discipline until after the Nov. 5 election, according to a source familiar with the discussions.

Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice began an investigation that same month that ultimately led to the ouster of Dale.