By Rick Pfeiffer
Niagara Gazette — Just when Falls drug dealers thought it was safe to get back to business, city cops came calling again Tuesday in what they called part two of Operation Spring Clean Up.
For the second straight day, SWAT teams moved out into the North and South Ends of the city. This time though, the raids were staged in the early evening rather than the early morning.
“We had intelligence that these location were more active at night, so that’s why we waited,” Narcotics Division Capt. Dave LeGault said. “We also wanted to let things settle down (from a series of raids early Monday morning) and let (the dealers) think they were OK.”
Just after 6 p.m., a SWAT team from the North Tonawanda Police Department, along with Falls Police narcotics detectives, hit a home in the 1900 block of Falls Street. Investigators said a 21-year-old man, who lived there, was selling quantities of both crack cocaine and marijuana.
“As with the earlier raid (on Monday), we were trying to give the neighbors over there a little relief,” LeGault said.
The target of the raid wasn’t home and detectives found no drugs in the house, but LeGault said that was “OK” because “our message was delivered.”
“His mother was home and she said she knew he was selling drugs,” LeGault said. “So he’ll know now we’re watching him.”
A short time later, investigators raided a store, at 1616 10th St., that they said was selling more than the hats, t-shirts and jewelry they had on display. Inside the One Stop Mart detectives found a quantity of marijuana.
“We know they were selling cocaine as well,” LeGault said.
Police charged Tyrone Drake, 39, with fourth-degree criminal possession of marijuana.
Around 10 p.m., detectives and officers from the Niagara Falls Emergency Response Team headed out to their final Clean Up target. Investigators said they had identified the home at 622 24th St. as a location where a female suspect had been selling pot, pills and cocaine.
Inside the home investigators recovered a quantity of prescription pills and pot.
“She was selling her own pills that she had a prescription for,” LeGault said.
Detectives charged Shamika Pickett, 27, with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal possession of a controlled substance outside its original container and unlawful possession of marijuana.
Police said they were assisted Tuesday by the U.S. Border Patrol, which provided a helicopter for them.
“We’re not done,” LeGault said. “Who knows, we might be back (cleaning) tomorrow.”