Niagara Gazette

Crime

April 2, 2013

Falls man charged after police find drug 'supermarket' in Lockport

Niagara Gazette — Police walked into a makeshift drug "supermarket" at the invitation of the suspected dealers early Tuesday.

A pair from out of town were hit with an array of felony and misdemeanor drug charges after police officers entered their rented room at the Comfort Inn, South Transit Street, shortly before 4 a.m. and found quantities of suspected marijuana, cocaine and prescription medications, some packaged in tell-tale sandwich bags, resting on a night stand.

Charles E. Griffith, 30, 1642 Linwood Ave., Niagara Falls, is being held without bail, and Brianna J. Brown, 25, 281 Millicent Ave., Buffalo, is being held in lieu of $10,000 bail, after they were both arraigned Tuesday in City Court on charges including third-, fifth- and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and third-degree criminal possession of marijuana.

Police were called to the Comfort Inn by the general manager after Griffith and Brown complained they were unable to get into their room and feared the room had been broken into.

Once police arrived, the general manager used a key to open the door and asked the officers to enter and make sure the room was safe. Neither Griffith nor Brown objected to police entering the room, Police Chief Lawrence Eggert noted.

When the officers entered, they noticed a strong odor of marijuana immediately, looked around the room and saw a quart-size zip bag "stuffed" with marijuana, laying on a night stand. In an opened night stand drawer they saw sandwich bags holding quantities of cocaine, oxymorphone tabs and a medication normally prescribed to persons being weaned off of heroin, Eggert said.

Upon searching the room the officers found several sandwich bags containing individual packages of marijuana, plus two digital scales, a pair of rubber gloves, three cell phones, three intact White Tiger cigars, a box of sandwich bags and $2,500 cash.

"It was kind of like a supermarket for drugs," Eggert said. "Anything you wanted, they had."

It's relatively unusual for drug dealers to set up shop in a hotel room in the city, Eggert said.

When Griffith and Brown were charged, police did not ask how long they'd been renting a room. Investigation is continuing, Eggert said.

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