State News
May 11, 2016

New York police officer admits role in Vt. opiate ring

By Jasper Craven, VTDigger.org
A New York City police officer accused of selling oxycodone for three years in Vermont pleaded guilty Monday, May 2, to a federal charge of conspiracy to distribute the opiate.
Andre Clarke, 37, of the Bronx, a 13-year veteran of the New York Police Department, was arrested last summer and charged by a federal grand jury in a 15-count indictment that included two others, Michael Foreste and Dannis Hackney. He had originally pleaded not guilty in July 2015. The three were accused of distributing the opiate between 2011 and 2014, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Vermont.
Foreste and Hackney faced additional charges of drug trafficking and money laundering. They have been in custody since 2014 and are awaiting trial.
Prosecutors say Clarke supplied the painkiller to Foreste, of Valley Stream, N. Y., who then supplied it to Hackney, a Burlington resident. Each defendant faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted on the distribution charge. The additional charges that Foreste and Hackney face could mean another 20 years each.

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