44 arrested in Newburgh drug raids

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(AP) - A series of raids on drug rings in theHudson Valley led to the arrests of 44 people Thursday, stateofficials said.

The suspects are accused of funneling large amounts of cocaine,prescription drugs and marijuana into Orange County and surroundingareas through three separate drug distribution networks.

Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said that more than $180,000 worthof drugs and $83,000 in cash were seized during the roundup dubbed"Operation Burning Plant."

Six people are charged in connection with a cocaine traffickingring extending from Orange County and the Bronx to Florida and theDominican Republic. Eighteen others face charges they distributedillegal prescription medication.

Prosecutors have charged 28 with involvement in a marijuanadistribution network working between Orange County and Florida,Arizona and Canada. Several suspects are charged with overlappingparticipation in at least two of the trafficking rings.

The raids centered on the town of Newburgh, 60 miles north ofNew York City. The arrests follow a two-year investigation led bystate police and officials from the state attorney general'soffice. Numerous other law enforcement agencies are also involved.

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