Police announce 20 arrests following major Buffalo, Lockport drug bust

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — One by one they marched through the courthouse doors, arms shackled at the waist, clad in orange. Twenty out of 25 western New York drug dealers — some of the high-level pushers who officials said are responsible for the region’s opioid epidemic.

State police, along with members of the Erie and Niagara county sheriff’s office and the Buffalo Police Department, executed three search warrants Thusday morning in the city of Buffalo.

The take: More than $1.2 million dollars in cocaine and fentanyl-laced heroin, and $60,000 — to go along with the 20 drug dealers who were arraigned on various felony charges of possession and criminal sale of controlled substances and conspiracy to distribute controlled substances. One of them was denied bail.

This drug ring came from two sources, according to authorities: Heroin driven to western New York from Philadelphia and New York City, and cocaine sent via U.S. Mail — in phony bean cans — from Puerto Rico.

“Drug dealers will think of any way they can to move their product, whether it’s stashing it in auto parts, using decoy material, or sending stuff through the mail. It’s really common practice,” said New York State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico.

D’Amico said the bust was a major collaboration.

“There’s no boundaries or restrictions or egos involved here,” he said. “We all just want to accomplish the same thing, to arrest these people, get rid of them and get this stuff off the streets.”

Most of the drugs came into the city of Lockport in Niagara County, where they were processed and sent out throughout the region, D’Amico said. ”

“I believe this was a major roundup today,” said Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda. “You’re going to see a lot less drugs in the city for a short time until they do find alternative sources. But right now, I do believe this will have an immediate impact.”

Most of the suspects are from the Buffalo area, some are from Niagara County.

Authorities say their investigation isn’t finished. While they were able to get some of the high level pushers off the streets of western New York, they’ll continue to work with investigators downstate and beyond to infiltrate higher up the food chain.


WIVB.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s