State and local authorities have announced the arrest and indictment of more than 40 people who are accused of operating two different drug trafficking rings throughout Erie, Niagara and Genesee counties.
The investigation also led to the discovery of a series of bi-monthly cockfights that were held on the Tuscarora Indian Reservation in Lewiston.
Details of the investigation and the arrests were made public Tuesday during a news conference in Buffalo that included New York State Attorney Eric Schneiderman, New York State Police Superintendent Joseph A. D'Amico and numerous officials from Western New York, including Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster.
Officials said suspects were rounded up following parallel investigations that included undercover operations and GPS tracking devices and hundreds of hours of covert surveillance. Law enforcement officials said investigators seized more than $100,000 in cocaine along with large quantities of prescription pills and cash.
As part of a multi-agency investigation code-named Operation Lockport, state and local law enforcement agents led by the Attorney General’s Organized Crime Task Force (OCTF) conducted an 18-month-long operation. Two indictments, charging more than 160 combined counts and 25 people, were unsealed in Erie County Supreme Court today.
The investigation led to the seizure of approximately two kilograms of cocaine and more than $60,000 in cash. Members of the narcotics distribution organization would transport the cocaine from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to the City of Niagara Falls.
Investigators believe that the suspects would pack cocaine into the soles and heels of doctored pairs of shoes while transporting it from Florida to New York and then cut up the shoes once in Buffalo to extract it. The shoes, along with box cutters, razor blades and utility knives, were found in a vehicle belonging to Vincent Mundy, of Fort Lauderdale, who was arrested this morning.
The cocaine was subsequently sold to Jermaine Cox and Lamar Johnson of Niagara County and Geraldine Horsefall of Genesee County, all of whom acted as the linchpins of the distribution network. The suspects then resold the cocaine to customers residing in Erie County and on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation.