Streets in Newburgh and across the Hudson Valley have fewer drugs and drug dealers after recent efforts by local, state and federal agencies.

Officials announced a blow to drug distribution with the arrest of 16 individuals charged with trafficking heroin and cocaine.

Officials say they seized drugs, guns and around $36,000 in cash in an operation called "Yellow Brick Road." The operation is one of eight in which state, federal and local agencies collaborated to target drug trafficking under the S.U.R.G.E. initiative.  

The group was alleged to have distributed drugs across the Hudson Valley region, getting supply from New York City and New Jersey. 

"It's significant. I mean, the individuals that are here that are selling whatever drugs on the street, they are merchants of death," said Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler. "We worked together to basically enhance the cases as much as we can, and bring to bear the most serious charges we could, and the most amount of charges we could in this case based upon the available evidence."  

S.U.R.G.E. stands for "Suburban and Upstate Response to the Growing Epidemic." Officials report 288 felony arrests, with more than 2,000 felony charges being issued as a result of the program.