By Rick Pfeiffer
Niagara Gazette — It was a combination of good old fashioned police work and being in the right place at the right time.
The result was the arrest of three men on Thursday by Falls narcotics detectives and seizure of a large amount of marijuana and a significant stash of counterfeit cash.
"Two of our detectives were checking out the area of 18th Street and Niagara Avenue because we know that to bea high-crime area with a lot of drug trafficking," Narcotics Division Capt. Dave LeGault said. "You could say that area is on our radar."
As the detectives watched, a Hummer ran the stop sign in front of them. They then stopped the vehicle and found three men inside.
Two were from Buffalo and one from the Falls.
'They were acting suspiciously," LeGault said. "One of them was moving around and putting his hands in the pockets and waistband of his pants."
Based on their behavior, the detectives got the men out of the SUV and searched the vehicle. Inside the Hummer, they found more than 7 pounds of pot.
They arrested Shateek and Michael Payne and Joachim Sylvester. A search of Sylvester then turned up 27 Opana pills and $1,200 in counterfeit bills.
"It was just a really good piece of police work," LeGault said. "They were in that area for a reason and it worked out."
Shateek Payne, 36, 986 Fillmore Ave., Buffalo and Michael Payne, 29, 57 Alma St., Buffalo, were each charged with second-degree criminal possession of marijuana.
Sylvester, 37, 1353 Ontario Ave., was charged with second-degree criminal possession of marijuana, fifth and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and possession of a prescription drug outside its original container.
Investigators said charges are pending against Sylvester for the counterfeit cash.