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Drug dealer sentenced in Columbia County heroin scheme

September 10, 2019 06:32 pm

ALBANY – A convicted New York City drug dealer was sentenced Tuesday to five years in state prison for his part in transporting and selling drugs in Columbia County.

Saul E. Pacheco, 38, of the Bronx, will serve time for conspiring with another person to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin in Columbia County. He will serve four years of supervised release after his release from prison.

Pacheco admitted to supplying heroin to Timothy J. Simpson Jr., 44, of Philmont, a convicted Columbia County drug dealer, for almost a year.

Pacheco was arrested on April 4, 2018, while waiting for Simpson in the parking lot of the Empire City Casino in Westchester County, where the two met every two weeks from April 2017 to March 2018 to exchange drugs and cash.

When federal agents descended on Pacheco, they found a plastic bag containing approximately 68 grams of heroin which they believe Pacheco threw under a parked car when he spotted the agents approaching him.

In February, Simpson pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiring to possess and distribute heroin and fentanyl. He will be sentenced Oct. 16.

Simpson was arrested by Columbia County Sheriff’s Office deputies on March 22, 2018 after he was pulled over on Route 9H in the town of Claverack. Investigators obtained a warrant to search his 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 court papers.

Simpson was alone and told deputies he was returning home from playing cards with friends in Tivoli in Dutchess County. Simpson, investigators said in affidavits, was “visibly sweating and nervous” and investigators remarked that they knew Simpson had traveled further than Dutchess County that night.

Prior to the stop, investigators obtained a warrant and tapped Simpson and Pacheco’s phones and used cell-site data to pinpoint the drop-off location in Westchester County.

About a week after Simpson’s arrest, he set up another meeting with Pacheco by telephone. But this time, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents were waiting in the parking lot.

Each man faced a maximum of 40 years in prison and a $5 million fine for their part in the scheme.

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 could be sentenced to five years in prison in that case, according to prosecutors.

The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Grant C. Jaquith; Special Agent in Charge Ray Donovan, New York Division, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration; and Columbia County Sheriff David P. Bartlett. The case was investigated by the DEA and the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Barnett.