A Port Jervis man recently learned of his fate when he arrived in court for his sentencing in a recent narcotics investigation that included the sale of illegal drugs in and around the Port Jervis area.

Caught Red Handed

As it is with any type of official investigation by law enforcement, people they are investigating are people of interest or they are suspects. Even when an individual is arrested, they are simply charged, not guilty and as such they have the ability to prove their innocence in a court of law.

Port Jervis Police Car
Dawn J. Benko for Townsquare Media of the Hudson Valley

According to the press release from the Orange County District Attorney's Office, an investigation into the sale of illegal narcotics in the Port Jervis area began in the Fall of 2023. On October 12, 2023 City of Port Jervis Police executed a search warrant at residence in the city. Upon executing the warrant, police quickly found the suspect, 48-year old Rakeem Whatley in the middle of some, let's call it "home cooking".

Unsplash-Krzysztof Hepner
Unsplash-Krzysztof Hepner

The press release states that "...police officers with the City of Port Jervis Police Department found Whatley in the process of cooking crack-cocaine". After this finding, police quickly began to search through the remainder of the residence.

During the remainder of the search, police would find a number items that were vital to the case. These items would include...

...a large quantity of cocaine, scales used in narcotics trafficking, as well as thousands of dollars in United States Currency".


In addition, police also discovered and recovered an illegal but working 9mm handgun hidden away in a dresser.

Court Proceedings in Narcotics Investigation

Following the search of the residence and Whatley was arrested and charged for a number of crimes tied to  possession of narcotics as well as a firearm charge. In court     during the plea proceedings, Whatley took accountability and admitted to the possession of the cocaine, admitted the intent to sell it and admitted to the possession of the 9mm handgun.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Flash forward to present day where Mr. Whatley was just recently sentenced in the investigation. On February 5, Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler, made the announcement that Mr. Whatley in Orange County Court was sentenced to serve the next six and one half (6.5) years in prison for the crimes of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree and Criminal Possession of a Firearm.

Photo by Daniel Bernard on Unsplash
Photo by Daniel Bernard on Unsplash

In addition, once Whatley has completed and fulfilled his prison sentence, he will also be under post release supervision for the following 3 years. Following the announcement, District Attorney Hoovler thanked law enforcement and everyone involved in the investigation for their efforts and reiterated the continued efforts by law enforcement to combat illegal drugs and the individuals spreading them on our streets.

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