September 04, 2014
Contact: Public Information Officer
SEP 04 (OTSEGO, N.Y.) - Acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) James J. Hunt, Otsego County Sheriff Richard J. Devlin, Jr., and Oneonta Police Department Chief Dennis R. Nayor announce the arrest of three time convicted drug felon Wayne Collins, age 48, of Oneonta, NY following a joint narcotics investigation conducted by the Otsego County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division, the Albany DEA District Office with assistance from the Oneonta Police Department and New York State parole officers from the Utica office.
In the fall of 2013, Sheriff’s Office investigators received information that parolee Collins was again trafficking crack cocaine in the City of Oneonta. Investigators, special agents, detectives and parole officers conducted surveillance of Collins’ Division Street apartment during the investigation and determined that Collins was now selling heroin.
In November and December 2013, quantities of heroin were purchased from Collins by confidential sources during the narcotics investigation. Collins was arrested last December 18th on other drug charges following the execution of a search warrant at his former residence. He later pleaded guilty in the Oneonta City Court to criminal possession of a controlled substance in the 7th degree and criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree and was sentenced by Judge Lucy P. Bernier to six months in the Otsego County Jail. After Collins finished his City Court sentence he was returned to the New York State Department of Correctional Services’ custody in the Elmira State Prison on a parole violation. He was later sent to the Willard Drug Treatment Center in Seneca County.
In August 2014, Collins was indicted by the Otsego County Grand Jury on two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree, both class B felonies. A sealed indictment warrant of arrest was issued for his arrest and lodged at the Willard DTC.
On September 2nd Sheriff’s Office investigators traveled to the Willard Drug Treatment Center and arrested parolee Collins on the sealed indictment warrant after he was released from their custody. Collins was arraigned that afternoon by Otsego County Court Judge Brian D. Burns and remanded to the Otsego County Correctional Facility on $25,000 bail. He is scheduled to return to the County Court on September 5th at 9:30 a.m. to continue his arraignment. If convicted of the drug sales Collins faces up to 24 years in state prison. District Attorney John M. Muehl is prosecuting the case.
DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt stated, “With three prior felony drug convictions, Wayne Collins tried his luck selling heroin instead of crack cocaine and found himself in the same place – in cuffs. This arrest demonstrates that will of law enforcement and our communities to keep our streets drug free and put those responsible for drug distribution in jail.”
Sheriff Richard J. Devlin, Jr said, “The arrest of Wayne Collins, a three time convicted drug felon, truly speaks to the allure and addiction of drugs and money surrounding this illegal industry. This case is a perfect example of what law enforcement is up against. When “drugs of choice” changed, Mr. Collins changed his inventory. It was not far into a cocaine investigation when our investigators realized Mr. Collins heroin connection. This is after seizures of Suboxone and Tramadol from the same individual. After numerous arrests, Mr. Collins was still not deterred and continued to attempt to make money through the illicit drug trade. Our investigators worked diligently on this case as they truly understood the scope and extent that these drugs had on the community.”