Niagara Gazette


November 26, 2013

Early morning sweep targets mid- and street-level drug sellers in Lockport

Niagara Gazette — LOCKPORT — Jerone Drake didn't look happy as he walked out of his North Transit Street home in handcuffs about 7:30 a.m. Tuesday. 

"Good morning Jerone," Lockport Police Chief Larry Eggert called out to him.

Drake just glared at the chief and said nothing.

Minutes later, at Lockport Police headquarters, a Niagara County Sheriff's Office corrections officer asked Drake, "How ya doing?"

"Well not too good right now," Drake replied.

A so-called felony frequent flyer among drug investigators, Drake was one of nine people arrested in a round-up by Lockport police. Assisting on Tuesday were investigators from the Niagara County Drug Task Force, agents from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, officers from the New York State Division of Parole and the Niagara Falls Police Department, the Sheriff's Department K-9 unit and corrections officers and U.S. Marshals.

The round-up capped a year-long investigation led by members of the drug task force, including Lockport Police Detective Kevin Newman. The investigation targeted mid- and street-level drug dealers.

"We were able to develop some really good informants and we started to make some (drug) buys," Eggert said. 

Most of the buys took place in an area of Lockport known as the "Impact Zone." Eggert said the "zone" is a high-crime area that has received intense attention from his officers.

"(Some people) don't realize we still have crime in the city," the chief said. "I appreciate the (task force and other agencies) helping us out with this round-up."

All the suspects who were sought faced arrest warrants from a Niagara County grand jury indictment. They were all charged with third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

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