Niagara Gazette


December 15, 2013

Falls cops rejoin county drug investigators


Niagara Gazette — Michael Toarmino, 24, 421 20th St., Apt. 2, was charged with third- and fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon. 

The task force wrapped up its first major city sweep, in a while, a day later with a raid on a Fourth Street home. 

Working again with Falls Police narcotics detectives and ERT officers, investigators found a large quantity of heroin and part of a TEC-9 semi-automatic assault weapon. The TEC-9 had been reported stolen in Ohio.

Investigators arrested and charged Keith Garcia, 20, 612 Fourth St., Apt. 2, with third and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Garcia may face federal firearms charges for his possession of the TEC-9 parts.

“We’re dealing with common bad guys,” Voutour said. “We need to work on that together.”

DalPorto agreed.

“Niagara Falls is a hub for drug activity in the county and if we can assist the sheriff’s department with our knowledge and they can exercise their (broader) jurisdiction, then that’s a win for the whole county,” he said. 

DalPorto pointed out that Falls police officers and detectives are already detailed to the U.S. Marshals Felony Fugitive Task Force, the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force and the local U.S Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force. 

“We’ve been partnered with those agencies, so when you can bring assets like that and the county task force into the Falls we’re giving up a little and getting a whole lot,” he said. 

Voutour said he couldn’t be happier to have the Falls Police back in the task force.

“It’s a better use of police resources,” the sheriff said. “We’re always looking for ways to do things better and more efficiently to benefit all the residents of Niagara County.”

Big red number 20 Roughly, the number of years since Falls police have participated in the Niagara County Drug Task Force

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