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“Operation Chopper” defendants plead guilty to drug charges

Published in All News and General News

GOSHEN – Nine people pled guilty in Orange County Court on Thursday to felonies for operating as a major trafficker of drugs and for the felony of enterprise corruption.

The pleas are part of a total of 19 people arrested in “Operation Chopper,” where the defendants were part of a motorcycle gang that distributed cocaine through Orange County and surrounding areas, said District Attorney David Hoovler.

“You have significant pleas that occurred in Orange County, some of the most significant that we have had in the last 15 years when it comes to drugs and the two ever pleas to enterprise corruption where two individuals were charged as part of a motorcycle gang as being the command and control elements of an organized criminal enterprise,” said Hoovler.

Brandon Masker pled guilty to operating as a major trafficker. He admitted that he was the director of a controlled substance organization that distributed cocaine for him throughout the county. Under the plea agreement, Masker faces up to 15 years in state prison.

Ryan Culver pled guilty to enterprise corruption for criminal acts he committed as the president of the now-defunct Young Souls Motorcycle Club. He admitted selling cocaine on behalf of the Young Souls, a self-described “outlaw biker club,” in September 2014 and May 2015, and possessed a pistol in late 2013. That gun was later used in a shooting in an Otisville bar by another Young Souls club member.

Charles Sawtelle also pled guilty to enterprise corruption for criminal acts he committed as the president of the Cycle Lords motorcycle club. He admitted to selling cocaine and methadone pills, but also possessing an illegal high capacity magazine on behalf of the Cycle Lords.

Also pleading guilty were Amanda Rohloff, Richard Tomczak and his brother Joseph Tomczak, Peter Noger, John Scheinert and Carl Digirolamo.