Did You Know?

Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe has released the 2010 Annual Report of the District Attorney's Office.

The 48-page report outlines the accomplishments and initiatives of the District Attorney's office in 2010, setting goals for 2011 and looking ahead in a challenging fiscal climate to maintaining visionary programs that have been implemented during the past three years.

Major Cases File: "Operation High-Tech"

On April 6th, District Attorney Zugibe announced the arrest of 34 individuals on a variety of drug-related charges following an eight-month investigation in the towns of Stony Point and Haverstraw. Many of the defendants - who ranged in age from 21 to 59 - were arrested during pre-dawn raids and were charged with selling crack and powdered cocaine and Oxycodone to undercover police officers on dozens of occasions since last September.

Twenty-six of the alleged buys took place in a trio of North Rockland bars: Noels Irish Pub & Restaurant in Stony Point; Westbrook's in West Haverstraw and Jack Kelly's Restaurant in West Haverstraw.

The investigation, dubbed "Operation High-Tech," began in July, 2010 when the Rockland County Drug Task Force received intelligence from the Town of Haverstraw Street Crime Unit that a network of drug dealers were engaged in operations in Haverstraw and Stony Point.

Welcome to the Summer 2011 e-newsletter from Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe. This edition will relay important achievements made by the District Attorney's dedicated staff and other pertinent information that must be shared with you.

We urge your feedback and invite you to visit our website for more about our office, Community Prosecution efforts, victim services and answers to frequently asked questions.

Summer 2011 issue's highlights:

Dozens Attend "Spirit of Rockland" Special Victims Center Grand Opening

A late-spring heat wave didn't spoil the June first grand opening celebration for the 'Spirit of Rockland' Special Victims Center on the campus of Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern.

District Attorney Zugibe welcomed local elected leaders, law enforcement officials, medical experts and victims' advocates to the community celebration that culminated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Photo of people standing in front of Special Victims Center"It's only through the remarkable generosity of local businesses, labor organizations, tradesmen and private citizens that has made this day possible," said Zugibe, during the event on the grounds of Good Samaritan.

The one-of-a-kind facility was designed and constructed free of charge, at no cost to local taxpayers. In addition, Good Samaritan Hospital is providing rent-free use of the space.

The 3,000-square foot facility, announced in December 2008, is designed to fully support special victims as their cases move through the criminal justice system. By partnering prosecutors, law enforcement, advocacy, medical and mental health and social service agencies in one secure location, victims are assured that all available resources are brought to bear against the offenders responsible for the heinous crimes.

The Center includes bright and modern space for the District Attorneys office, law enforcement agencies, the Department of Social Services and Victims Advocates. There are also interview rooms, a group/conference room and an examination room, so that all legal, social and medical services can be provided in a separate, comfortable and safe environment.

Said Zugibe, "The 'Spirit of Rockland' Special Victims Center is built on community partnerships and teamwork. We think of it as 'common goals' and 'uncommon compassion.' Together, we are sending victims and important message: you are not alone."

For more information on the SVC, visit our Special Victims Unit page.

Out-of-State Prosecutors Duplicate District Attorney Zugibe's Community Prosecution Model

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. This expression rings true at the Rockland County District Attorney's Office this summer, as prosecutors from three U.S. cities work to replicate Tom Zugibe's visionary and highly successful Community Prosecution model in their respective areas.

In June, D.A. Zugibe announced that a $500,000 United States Department of Justice grant was secured jointly by the Rockland County District Attorney's Office and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) to help develop Community Prosecution programs in Mesa, Arizona, St. Paul, Minnesota and Newport News, Virginia.

Under Zugibe's leadership, the District Attorney's Office has developed and refined an innovative Community Prosecution approach, which has been recognized by the Justice Department as a cutting-edge approach.

The federal funding allows the IACP to provide technical assistance and other guidance to out-of-state prosecutors' offices and police departments to facilitate the adoption of Rockland's model of Community Prosecution.

Zugibe's vision for restorative justice is touted as a model for other prosecutors throughout the country. Rockland County's Community Prosecution model seeks to reduce the distance, social and physical, between prosecutors, law enforcement and the community.

All of Rockland County's police departments have been assigned Community Prosecutors, each possessing unique knowledge of their jurisdiction. Local residents are helping to make a difference by engaging directly with prosecutors from the Rockland County District Attorney's Office, contacting local police departments and utilizing the RCDA's Web site, RocklandCountyDA.com.

Illegal Street Drugs: Talk To Your Kids

We all know that raising children today is the most important and most rewarding job we could ever have. As a parent in 2011, it is equally challenging to stay informed, especially on matters such as illegal drugs, in order to help our kids make the right choices.

The fact is two out of five middle school students know a friend or classmate who has used illegal drugs. According to the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, nearly half of middle and high school students say their parents have never discussed the dangers of drugs with them.

Together with the Rockland County Drug Task Force, we've compiled a "short list" of the most popular street drugs used by young people in Rockland County. We hope this information helps you to recognize signs of illegal drug use, and helps to discuss the subject with your children.

Opana is in a group of drugs called narcotic pain relievers. It is similar to morphine. Opana is used to treat moderate to severe pain. Photo showing 3 Opana pillsThe extended-release form of the drug is taken for around-the-clock treatment of pain. Opana can generate a serious narcotic habit quickly in those who take it recreationally due to its powerful euphoric properties, which some rank as the highest amongst narcotics, many placing it above morphine, heroin, hydromorphone and dextromoramide.

The pill is intended to be taken orally, but some people crush the pill and snort it, with both methods having devastating effects. Street names for Opana are typically derived from its appearance, including blues, pink lady, pink heaven, stop signs, octagons and The O Bomb.

Oxycodone is a prescription pain reliever and is widely used in clinical medicine. The prescription drug is abused for its euphoric effects.Photo showing oxycodone pills The main sources of oxycodone on the street have been through forged prescriptions, home medicine cabinets, professional diversion through unscrupulous pharmacists, doctors, dentists, "doctor-shopping," robberies and break-ins of pharmacies and nursing homes

Street names for oxycodone include Oxy, X, Roxy, Hillbilly Heroin, OC, Perks, Bikes.

Heroin is a fast-acting opiate. It comes from morphine, which is extracted from the seed pods of poppy plants. Photo showing 4 envelopes or bags containing heroinA white or brownish powder, heroin is generally diluted with other drugs, or sugar, flour, or powdered milk. It may have a bit of a vinegar smell. Heroin is often sold in small, plastic bags or envelopes, decorated with designs, logos or colored stamps. Users typically snort or smoke it. Heroin induces euphoria, with a "high" generally lasting three to four hours.

Street names for heroin include Smack and Diesel.

As parents we must be aware of these drugs, the paraphernalia associated with their use and the symptoms.

If you need additional information, please contact the Rockland County District Attorney's Office or your local police department's D.A.R.E. Officer.

"Rockland Unites To Donate Life" Bolsters New York's Organ Donor Registry

Thank you Rockland County!

When the Rockland Unites to Donate Life campaign and donor challenge launched in October, 2010, there were a total of 27,784 Rockland County residents enrolled in the New York State Organ Donor Registry - 12% of the eligible 18+ population.

Photo taken at Donate Life campaignAs of June 2011, there were 32,332 Rockland County residents enrolled in the registry, an increase to 14% of the eligible 18+ population.

The Rockland County District Attorney's Office teamed up last fall with the New York Organ Donor Network in a countywide public education campaign and donor challenge to help grow the state's organ, eye and tissue donor registry.

New York Organ Donor Network Elaine R. Berg credits the first-of-its-kind effort for signing up 4,548 new participants on the donor registry.

District Attorney Zugibe would like to thank the new enrollees, including those participants from the Rockland County District Attorney's Office, the Rockland County Commissioner of Jurors, the Rockland County Clerk's Office, the Ramapo Police Department, the Rockland County Police Benevolent Association, the Ramapo Police Benevolent Association, the Village of Montebello and the Spring Valley PDC.

Individuals looking to participate can visit DonateLifeNY.org for electronic enrollment and other details.

Spotlight On Conviction

On June 14th, 39 year-old Juan Caballero of Montebello was sentenced to thirteen years to life in state prison for the repeated sexual assault of a vulnerable young girl.

Photo of Juan CaballeroBetween September 1st, 2006 and August 7th, 2010, the defendant repeatedly sexually abused the female child beginning at age nine until age thirteen.

Caballero and the victim shared a family relationship.

The defendant made a full confession and pled guilty to the entire indictment on April 12th, 2011, charging him with various counts of Predatory Sexual Assault Against a Child, Course of Sexual Conduct Against a Child in the First Degree, Second-Degree Attempted Criminal Sexual Act and Endangering the Welfare of a Child.

District Attorney Zugibe commended the particularly strong sentence for a plea agreement, which was offered to spare the young victim the trauma of having to testify in open court.

The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Patricia Gunning.