Head of Gun Violence Prevention Program Arraigned on Drug and Gun Charges

The director of Bronx Rises Against Gun Violence was arraigned in Orange County Court on Tuesday as part of a guns and narcotics conspiracy investigation that led to the arrest of 15 people.

Michael Rodriguez, 48, of Yonkers, served as the director of Bronx Rises Against Gun Violence. The group’s mission is to foster safer streets in the Bronx through government-funded initiatives.

According to Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler, Michael Rodriguez faces a litany of charges. These include first- and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, and second- and fourth-degree conspiracy. These are all classified as felonies.

The charges stem from allegations that Rodriguez was involved in the supply of cocaine to drug-dealers operating in Orange County.

A search warrant executed at Rodriguez’s residence uncovered substantial evidence. Over 1.5 kilograms of cocaine, $165,509 in cash, an unlicensed Ruger .380-caliber pistol, and an unlicensed .357-caliber handgun were all found.

In a statement after the arrest, DA Hoovler expressed dismay over the Rodriguez’s position in the community saying, “It is unconscionable that the Director of a respected group which has pledged to reduce gun violence and help at-risk youth would himself choose to become a major drug dealer and commit weapons offenses.”

Michael Rodriguez is currently being held without bail at the Orange County jail. He awaits his next court appearance scheduled for September 18th.

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