Niagara Gazette

December 18, 2013

Drug raids target 19th Street properties

By Rick Pfeiffer
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — Falls Police narcotics detectives and investigators with the Niagara County Drug Task Force tag-teamed a pair of 19th Street drug houses Tuesday night.

In coordinated raids, emergency response teams from both the Falls Police and the Niagara County Sheriff's Office hit two storefront-residences in the 400 block of the troubled commercial and residential corridor.

Detectives said it wasn't the first time they've paid a call to 484 19th St. and that complaints from local businesses drove the latest raid at that location. Investigators said it appeared that the home was being used to sell drugs and for prostitution.

No arrests were made at that location, but detectives did seize drug paraphernalia. The target of the search warrant was warned that if complaints about activity at the home, which he owns, continue, he could be charged with maintaining a public nuisance.

City housing inspectors did condemn the home for occupancy after police found it was being heated by a collection of propane tanks.

The second home, at 455 19th St., was hit by Task Force investigators.

"This whole street is an issue for us," one investigator said.

Investigators made no arrests there, but did find crack pipes and other paraphernalia. A resident of the home told investigators that just a short time before they arrived, there were at least four people in the residence, selling drugs.

"Both of these places have been a continuing problem for us," Falls Police Narcotics Division Capt. Dave LeGault said. "So if we have to, we'll just keep coming back."

Police did arrest a man standing outside 484 19th St. at the time of the raid. Laquil Hilson, 19, 78 Stevens St., Buffalo, was charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Officers said Hilson had a small quantity of crack cocaine in his possession.