Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced on Wed., Apr. 19 that Brandon Masker, 34, of Warwick, one of the defendants charged in the “Operation Chopper” narcotics enforcement action, was sentenced by Orange County Court Judge Robert H. Freehill to ten years in state prison.
On Jun. 23 Masker had plead guilty to the Class A felony of Operating as a Major Trafficker. During his plea, Masker admitted that he was the director of a controlled substance organization that distributed cocaine throughout Orange County and surrounding areas, and that he had at least four people working under him, who distributed the cocaine for him throughout Orange County. Masker’s organization was centered in the Town of Warwick.
As part of the plea agreement, Masker forfeited $30,000 in drug proceeds, as well as three all-terrain vehicles which were used to transport narcotics. One ATV was worth over $12,000.
The “Operation Chopper” investigation also revealed narcotics crimes committed by various individuals, as well as by “outlaw motorcycle clubs.” In addition to the criminal prosecutions, the District Attorney’s Office instituted civil forfeiture proceedings and, to date, has recovered $113,500 in narcotic trafficking proceeds from “Operation Chopper” defendants.
During the sentencing proceedings, Masker’s attorney asked that he be sentenced to less than ten years in prison, citing an incident where Masker had helped apprehend a purse snatcher in a convenience store. Prosecutors opposed that application.