A major Otsego County drug kingpin is off the streets, according to the Otsego County Sheriffâ??s Office and the DEA.
Officials say 34-year-old Bronx native Edgar Joe Montes, aka â??Eâ??, was arrested after a three year investigation into a heroin trafficking operation in Otsego County, known as â??Operation Dial Toneâ??.
The investigation involved hundreds of hours to date from members of the Otsego County Sheriffâ??s Office Criminal Investigation Division, the Albany DEA and Oneonta Police Department Detective Bureau, and has resulted in 18 arrests so far.
Officials say Montes took over the Bronx-based heroin ring after former kingpin Jose â??Flipâ?? Rodriguez was put away for 40 years for â??Operation Dial Toneâ??. Jamele Baez and Anays Garcia attempted to fill the void in the operation in 2011, but Baez is behind bars on a criminal sale of a controlled substance charge and Garcia is under indictment in Otsego County.
Montes faces charges of operating as a major trafficker, criminal sale of a controlled substance and criminal possession of a controlled substance.
Montes is currently being held in the Otsego County Correctional Facility in lieu of $500,000 bail.
If convicted, Montes could face up to 36 years in prison.
District Attorney John M. Muehl is prosecuting the case.
Otsego County Sheriff Richard Devlin Jr. said, â??This arrest is the result of a three year investigation that focused on illegal drug trafficking. Because of the size and scope of the activity investigated, we feel confident that not only the communities of Otsego County, but many other communities across the state, will benefit. Arrests like this just donâ??t fall into place. They take hours of committed police work, dedication and teamwork. Without our law enforcement partners, this type of case is almost unmanageable. This particular case exhibited every element of a major drug trafficking ring, in manpower, scope and reach. We truly hope this shows how we are keeping our promise to the community by targeting illegal drug trafficking and those who profit from it.â??
Investigators seized over $20,000, about 1,000 packets of heroin, drug packaging materials, drug paraphernalia, electronic scales, small amounts of marijuana and crack cocaine and personal electronic devices during the investigation.
The following agencies assisted with investigation: Cooperstown Police Department, Delaware County Sheriffâ??s Office, Los Angeles County Sheriffâ??s Department Homicide Bureau, New York City Police Department, New York State Department of Correctional Services and Community Supervision; New York State Division of Parole Utica Office; Otsego County District Attorneyâ??s Office, Otsego County District Attorneyâ??s Special Investigation Unit and the Otsego County Probation Department.