18-month investigation shuts down major gun and drug ring in Dutchess County

The raids recovered 31 guns, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, and around 5,000 fentanyl pills disguised as oxycodone worth about $150,000.

Jonathan Gordon

Feb 14, 2024, 9:36 PM

Updated 105 days ago


An 18-month-long investigation led by New York Attorney General Letitia James' office took down a major gun and drug ring in Dutchess County.
“The individuals arrested today operated a dangerous network that trafficked untraceable ghost guns and flooded New York communities with fentanyl. Today’s takedowns send a clear message that we will not allow anyone to fuel the epidemics of gun violence and drug addiction with their illegal activities," James said.
The raids recovered 31 guns, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, and around 5,000 fentanyl pills disguised as oxycodone worth about $150,000.
Ten people were charged across two indictments totaling more than 200 pages.
The investigation began in April 2022, when investigators began looking into the alleged activities of Muyada Qader, who is accused of selling firearms and drugs out of his home in Poughkeepsie and where he worked at a Valero gas station in LaGrangeville.
During the investigation, Qader’s alleged primary supplier of firearms was Jason Knapp. Knapp is accused of making ghost guns and supplying high-capacity magazines for Qader to sell. Quader's other suppliers allegedly also included Joseph Silverman and Luis Gonzalez, who are accused of getting Qader other guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.
Nearly a year into the investigation, police discovered Qader's alleged drug trafficking operation, where he is accused of dying and stamping fentanyl to resemble oxycodone pills. Qader allegedly supplied pills to Isaiah Atkins, who would then give the drugs to Qader's alleged primary source, Aaron Steppe.
Steppe is accused of meeting Qader at the Valero gas station and selling the drugs in his car with his roommate Christopher Evans or Steppe's girlfriend Angel Williams. Investigators also accuse Stephen Gary of supplying oxycodone pills containing fentanyl to Qader where he worked.
According to the attorney general's office, the defendants and their co-conspirators allegedly used code words to disguise their illegal activities. They allegedly referred to ghost guns as "ghosties" and the pills as "erks," "urks," and "percs."
The investigation included hundreds of hours of physical and covert surveillance, court-authorized wiretapping of cellular telephones, the analysis of electronic evidence, including cellular telephonic communications, and other traditional investigative operations.
The New York State Police and Poughkeepsie Police Department aided the investigation.

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