April 12, 2017
Contact: Erin Mulvey
Phone Number: (212) 337-2906
Rockland County Man Indicted For Narcotics Trafficking
Trafficked Cocaine Hidden in Luggage from the Dominican Republic to New York
MANHATTAN, N.Y. - - Matthew Draper, aka “Mata,”49, of Haverstraw, New York, was indicted today by a grand jury charging him with allegedly trafficking wholesale amounts of cocaine in and around Rockland County, New York. Draper was arrested on a criminal complaint on October 6, 2016, and has been in custody since that date.
James J. Hunt, Special Agent in Charge, New York Division of the Drug Enforcement (DEA) and Joon H. Kim, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced the indictment.
According to the allegations contained in the indictment and the complaint charging him, Draper was part of a cocaine distribution conspiracy responsible for transporting wholesale amounts of cocaine from the Dominican Republic to the New York area on commercial airline flights. The conspiracy relied on contacts working in airports both in the Dominican Republic and in the United States to facilitate the deliveries.
From in or around September 2016 through October 5, 2016, Draper worked with a confidential informant and a supplier in the Dominican Republic to facilitate the transport of approximately 20 kilograms of cocaine from the Dominican Republic to New York. Draper intended to have the confidential informant retrieve the cocaine from the airport and provide it to him at a predetermined location.
On October 5, 2016, DEA agents learned from the confidential informant that 20 kilograms of cocaine Draper purchased from the Dominican Republic had been secreted in luggage, and placed on an airplane scheduled to arrive at John F. Kennedy International Airport. DEA agents were able to locate the airplane and the luggage in question, recovering approximately 20 kilograms of cocaine that had been wrapped and sealed in a clear vacuum-sealed bag.
Draper was arrested that same day when he attempted to retrieve the cocaine from the confidential informant at the predetermined location. Upon his arrest, law enforcement recovered approximately $23,000 in cash and what appeared to be an additional kilogram of cocaine from Draper’s vehicle. Law enforcement agents also executed a search warrant on Draper’s residence. During the search, agents recovered an additional half-kilogram of a substance that appeared to be cocaine.
Draper is charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute narcotics, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, and one count of possession of narcotics with intent to distribute, which also carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. The statutory maximum sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the Court.
Mr. Kim praised the outstanding investigative work of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Mr. Kim also thanked the Rockland County Drug Task Force and the Town of Haverstraw Police Department Street Crime Unit for their cooperation and assistance in this investigation.
The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jennifer Burns, Lauren Schorr, and Christopher J. Clore are in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the indictment and complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.