By Rick Pfeiffer
Niagara Gazette — Falls Police narcotics detectives say the start of a new year has not seen a break in their war on neighborhood drug dealers.
Narcotics cops said Tuesday they've taken down four more local dealers since mid-January in an on-going effort to provide "relief" to communities across the Cataract City.
"These were all neighborhood dealers," Narcotics Division Capt. Dave LeGault said of the recent raids. "We've been doing other things as well, long-term investigations involving major dealers, but it's our goal to get the neighborhood dealers."
In mid-January, LeGault said a raid led by Emergency Response Team officers took down a gun-toting dealer in Deveaux.
"This guy was involved in some narcotics sales," LeGault said. "But we also saw him coming and going with what appeared to be some long guns. So that was a concern."
The suspect, Jonathan Osborne, had two previous felony convictions and could not legally own a gun.
"He would take them in and out wrapped in blankets," LeGault said. "And (we) weren't sure exactly what (type of long guns) they were."
When investigators entered Osborne's apartment, they found a small amount of marijuana and seized a Remington 12-gauge shotgun and three replica handguns.
"We don't know what he planned to do with (the replica guns)," LeGault said. "But they looked very real."
Osborne, 29, 4600 Hyde Park Blvd., Apt. 91, was charged with third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument and unlawful possession of marijuana.
Days later, detectives moved to the Pine Avenue business district and hit an apartment behind the U.S. Post Office branch there.
With assistance from the Niagara County Drug Task Force, narcotics investigators took down Antoine White and seized quantities of crack cocaine and prescription pills including Hydrocodone tablets.
"It's what he was selling," LeGault said.
White, 42, 2020 Pine Ave., Apt. 8, was charged with one count of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, five counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, second-degree criminal use of drug paraphernalia and criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument.
By the end of January, narcotics detectives, once again in the company of Emergency Response Team officers, knocked on the door of a home in the 4000 block of Bell Street. They were looking for Luis Montanez.
Investigators said Montanez had a small amount of pot, as well as drug paraphernalia and packaging materials for heroin.
Montanez, 50, 4014 Bell St., was charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, second-degree criminal use of drug paraphernalia and unlawful possession of marijuana.
Detectives wrapped up their latest sweep on Feb. 12, hitting a home in the 1900 block of Cudaback Avenue. They seized a quantity of heroin and powdered cocaine.
Maurice Mackey, 32, 1952 Cudaback Ave. Apt. 2-F, was charged with fifth and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.
Contact reporter Rick Pfeiffer at 282-2311, ext. 2252.