Niagara Gazette — Five search warrants. Eighteen arrests.
For Falls Police Narcotics Division detectives, it's just been a normal three days at the office.
"These guys have been working so hard, it's incredible," Narcotics Division Capt. Dave LeGault said of the work done by his investigators from Wednesday through Friday.
They started at 4 a.m. Wednesday in the 600 block of Ninth Street. Along with officers from the department's Emergency Response Team, detectives hit a high traffic heroin house.
"The target had a barricaded door and a very large dog, so that presented some challenges for the ERT guys," LeGault said.
As officers came through the door, the target of the search warrant, Javier Osorio, made a desperate attempt at "clean up,"
"The officers were entering the home and Osorio ran to a (second floor bedroom) window and punched a hole in the screen," LeGault said. "Then he threw a sock with 14 grams of heroin out the window."
What Osorio didn't know was that narcotics detectives were standing underneath the window.
"He pretty much threw the heroin out the window and into the waiting hands of Narcotics division detectives," LeGault said.
Inside the home, investigators seized packaging materials and $3,945 in cash they say were the proceeds of Osorio's drug dealing.
Osorio, 36, 615 Ninth St., was charged with third and fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal use of drug paraphernalia and tampering with physical evidence.
Detectives were back to work at 5 a.m. Thursday in the 2800 block of McKoon Avenue. Investigators were looking for Deron Weaver and he was apparently prepared for trouble.
"As the ERT was making its entry, he grabbed a loaded .40 caliber handgun," LeGault said. "He told us he was pointing the gun at his bedroom door preparing to shoot whoever came through that door."
Weaver said he dropped the weapon when he heard officers yelling, "Police, get on the ground."
"That was really fortunate for everyone," LeGault said.
In addition to the loaded handgun, investigators seized 2.8 grams of crack cocaine.
Weaver, 28, 2805 McKoon Ave., was charged with third and fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
He faces additional charges because police said his handgun was stolen from a home in the Falls.
A short time later, detectives and ERT officers hit an apartment at Mount Eagle Ridge Estates. They were looking for a crack dealer, but found something else.
"Our investigation had shown the target was selling crack," LeGault said. "But when we got in there, it appeared he had sold his crack, but he had a vast array of prescription pills."
Detectives also recovered almost $17,000 in cash.
Jermaine Ellison, 26, 4600 Hyde Park Blvd. Apt. 41, was charged with third and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.
Narcotics detectives returned to the streets Thursday night, heading to an apartment in the 400 block of 19th Street.
"We had a ton of citizen complaints, a ton of block club complaints and a ton of tip line complaints about this place," LeGault said. "The complaints were coming from all over the place."
What investigators found was what one described as "an old school crack house."
"There was crack, there was powder cocaine, there was marijuana, there were prescription pills and heroin," LeGault said. "It was all spread out on a table in plain view. There were a few people selling (drugs) and others just hanging out and using (drugs)."
Police arrested 14 people they found in the apartment, including Ray Harris. Investigators said ERT officers nabbed Harris as he tried to flush a quantity of crack cocaine down a toilet.
Harris, 37, 1330 Niagara Ave., was charged with third and fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.
The remaining individuals at the apartment were arrested on charges ranging from seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance to loitering.
"We want to send a message to people who hang out at these houses that if we find you there, we going to arrest you," LeGault said.
Detectives finished up their work week by joining with agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and investigators from the Rochester Police Department to hit a home in the 1100 block of LaSalle Avenue. They were also assisted by Town of Tonawanda Police K-9 Officer Brent Costello and his dog, Tank.
LeGault said Tank was able to locate a 9mm Teletech handgun in a hollowed out leg of a pool table inside the home. Officers arrested Michael P. Mitchell, 32, 1154 LaSalle Ave., and charged him with fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
The narcotics captain said the investigation of Mitchell is continuing.