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Accused heroin traffickers plead guilty in federal court

May 15, 2019 05:43 pm

HUDSON — Two men accused of trafficking heroin in Columbia County pleaded guilty in federal court Monday.

Saul E. Pacheco, 38, of the Bronx, pleaded guilty Monday to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance.

In his plea, Pacheco admitted to supplying more than 100 grams of heroin to Timothy J. Simpson Jr., 44, of Philmont, an alleged drug trafficker, in Columbia County from April 2017 to March 2018, according to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities arrested Pacheco April 4, 2018 as he attempted to meet Simpson in the parking lot of the Empire City Casino in Westchester County.

Special agents with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration found a plastic bag containing approximately 68 grams of heroin wrapped in another plastic bag, which agents say Pacheco threw under a parked car in the lot, according to court documents.

Investigators said they believe the two met at least once a week in the parking lot for several months, according to court documents.

“Simpson would then drive back to Columbia County and begin contacting his drug customers,” according to court documents.

Pacheco, who is in federal custody, faces a minimum of five years and a maximum of 40 years in prison, when he is sentenced on Sept. 16 by U.S. District Court Judge Thomas J. McAvoy.

Simpson pleaded guilty to drug conspiracy and possession charges. He is scheduled to be sentenced June 19.

Columbia County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested Simpson on March 22, 2018 after he was pulled over on Route 9H in the town of Claverack. He was alone.

Investigators obtained a search warrant to search the vehicle. Inside the vehicle, police found two baggies containing 70 grams of heroin wrapped in black electrical tape and hidden above the car’s muffler, according to the sheriff’s office.

Pacheco also pleaded guilty to an unrelated charge of conspiring to distribute more than 40 grams of fentanyl, in a case investigated by the DEA and prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. Pacheco faces at least five years in prison on the unrelated charge.

Pacheco was convicted on Sept. 29, 2004, in Westchester County Court of fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a class D felony, and received a sentence of probation, according to court documents.

Pacheco’s April 4 arrest was investigated by the DEA and the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Barnett.

To reach reporter Amanda Purcell, call 518-828-1616 ext. 2500, or send an email to, or tweet to @amandajpurcell.