By Rick Pfeiffer
Niagara Gazette — A busy day for Falls Police narcotics detectives and members of the Emergency Response Team Thursday as they executed a trio of search warrants at homes ranging from Mid-Town to the South End.
Around 1 p.m., ERT members went through the door of a home at 1361 Ashland Ave. in search of one or more crack dealers. They didn’t find any, but encountered three suspected users who were charged with loitering.
“We have been having just a steady flow of complaints from the community about that home,” Narcotics Division Lt. Ted Weed said. “The (crack) dealers were setting up in there and the resident (of the home) was allowing (the dealers) to sell and (the users) to smoke there.”
Detectives also found a frequent suspect in car break-ins in the home.
“He had a couple of GPS systems in his possession and that’s been turned over to (Criminal Investigation Division) detectives to handle,” Weed said.
From there, ERT members and detectives moved to a marijuana grow house in the 2200 block of Niagara Street. According to investigators that home was also the scene of “heavy traffic in and out.”
Detectives said they found a small grow operation inside and seized “a few plants.”
Samantha Pelton, 23, 2264 Niagara St., was charged with growing cannibus.
“We’re letting people know, even if you’re a small operator, we’re coming for you,” Weed said.
Investigators had a bigger score in the 500 block of Memorial Parkway. Acting on a flurry of neighborhood complaints, they hit the home of a dealer who is suspected of having ties to the Bloods street gang.
At the home they found a significant quantity of crack cocaine, a loaded 357 magnum handgun — and a 3-year-old child.
“The ERT, with Lt. (Dave) Kok, did a great job of getting us in there,” Weed said.
Detectives said their investigation took more than three months and credited neighbors with help and support.
“As we went putting (the suspects) in our cars, one neighbor came out and thanked us,” Weed said.
Investigators charged Frank Thomas, 32, 591 Memorial Parkway, with two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
They also charged Thomas’ wife, Pamela Litzsey-Thomas, 39, with two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.
Detectives said Thomas would deal crack out of his home and out of his car at various locations around the city.
“You could say this was our Valentine’s Day extravaganza,” Weed said. “We were showing (the dealers) our love. We said were were going to address the complaints from neighbors and the block clubs and we’re keeping our word.”