Former area man gets 12-year prison term

By Brian Sweeney
A former Fleischmanns man was sentenced to 12 years in prison last week for selling morphine pills that had allegedly been stolen from the Margaretville CVS Pharmacy.

Matthew Galunas, 42, whose current address is West Hurley, was sentenced in Ulster County Court on July 7. He was found guilty in May at a four-day jury trial of two counts of felony sale of a controlled substance.

During last week’s sentencing, Ulster County Judge Donald Williams sentenced Galunas to six years in prison on each charge, with the sentences to run consecutively.

In handing down the sentencing, Judge Williams pointed out that Galunas has an extensive criminal history, including two previous felony convictions. The judge also noted an apparent lack of remorse by the defendant.

The charges in this case stem from Galunas selling 500 pills in the presence of members of the Ulster County Regional Gang Narcotics Task Force on two occasions in February 2008.
According to Ulster County District Attorney Holley Carnright, Galunas sold approximately 500 pharmaceutical-grade morphine pills. Some of the pills were eventually traced to a burglary about five weeks earlier at the Margaretville CVS Pharmacy.

During that break-in, Galunas reportedly gained entry through a secured area of pharmacy through the ceiling. He was charged with stealing a large amount of narcotics, including Hydrocodone, Oxycontin and morphine.

In addition, a large amount of cigarettes were stolen from the CVS, troopers said. A large, undisclosed amount of cash was stolen from the registers of both stores and the ATM machine within the A&P, along with cartons of cigarettes.