Niagara Gazette — The Falls Police Emergency Response team banged on the front door of a Pierce Avenue home on Wednesday night.
Inside, they found six known gang members, two loaded weapons, a couple of pounds of pot, some pills and crack cocaine. Outside, they nabbed two more suspects with gang ties, one of them armed with a .45 and wearing a ballistic vest.
“It was a little chaotic,” Narcotics Division Capt. Dave LeGault said. “As the team entered people were running throughout the house. One tried to go out a back door and encountered an officer there. Another (suspect) dove out a second-floor window, onto a porch, but he saw narcotics detectives had the house surrounded and he came back in and surrendered.”
More disturbing to LeGault was the proximity of a loaded 12-gauge sawed-off shotgun and a loaded .38-caliber handgun to the more than half a dozen people inside the home.
“The shotgun was lying on top of a TV, within reach of the people sitting on a couch and the handgun was sitting on a dinning room table where another suspect was standing,” the narcotics captain said. “All the suspects had access to those guns (as police burst through the door).”
The lightning-fast raid was the culmination of a three-month investigation into drug dealing out of the house in the 1100 block of Pierce Avenue by members of the Bloods street gang. Many of the gang members appear to be tied to a Buffalo-based set of the notoriously violent gang.
“A fair number of the guys here were Bloods from Buffalo,” LeGault said. “These guys were selling mostly marijuana, but also some crack and (prescription) pills.”
LeGault said officers and investigators were prepared for the “potential for violence” because intelligence gained on the house indicated that there were usually between four to eight gang members at the location and “often two to three guns in the building.”