Press-Republican

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October 29, 2010

Drug sweep nabs 8 in Franklin County

TUPPER LAKE — A drug sweep in the Saranac Lake-Tupper Lake area Thursday netted eight people for allegedly selling cocaine, morphine and hydrocodone to undercover operatives.

More arrests are pending in the investigation that District Attorney Derek Champagne said involves New York City-area dealers coming north to sell their stash of drugs out of hotel rooms because "they say it's an untapped market up here."

Arrests were made Thursday without incident at about 8:30 a.m. by the Tupper Lake Village Police Department, the State Police and the Saranac Lake Village Police Department with the assistance of the Franklin County Narcotics and Border Protection Task Force.

Charged by Tupper Lake authorities were:

▶ Judith J. Laboy, 43, of 10 High St. with two counts of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance.

She was arraigned before Village Justice Leonard Young and taken to Franklin County Jail in lieu of $20,000 cash bail or $40,000 insurance bond.

▶ John P. Hovey, 47, of 12 Main St. with two counts of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance.

He was arraigned before Young and sent to County Jail for lack of $20,000 cash bail or $40,000 insurance bond.

▶ Stephen M. Rothgeb, 55, of 15 Church St. for third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance. He was arraigned before Young and remanded to County Jail for lack of $15,000 cash bail or $30,000 insurance bond.

▶ Zachary A. Clement, 34, of 187 Park St. for third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance. He was arraigned before Young and remanded to County Jail for lack of $15,000 cash bail or $30,000 insurance bond.

Police said during execution of one of the search warrants, marijuana and smoking paraphernalia was allegedly found in one of the homes, and related charges are pending.

All of the Tupper Lake suspects are to reappear in Village Court at 5 p.m. Nov. 8.

Charged in Saranac Lake were:

▶ Michael E. Simmons, 58, of Saranac Lake for two counts of fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and two counts of fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

▶ Joseph G. Munn, 34, of 82 Petrova Ave., Saranac Lake for two counts of fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, two counts of fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and one count of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance.

▶ Jessica M. Bordeau, 28, of Saranac Lake for one count each of fourth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

▶ Ralph A. Garand, 50, of Saranac Lake for two counts each of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Simmons, Munn, Bordeau and Garand were to be arraigned in County Court late Thursday.

Sgt. Eric Proulx of the Tupper Lake Police Department credits his officers for the diligence and leg work it took to bring about the arrests as the investigation carried on across several months.

He said the informants used were developed and that the officers did "an exceptional job" with their undercover work.

Champagne, who is also president of the State District Attorney's Association, said in the 13 years he's been a prosecutor, he has never seen such a shift to drug dealing in rural counties as he has seen in the past year or so.

"They come here, set up in their hotel room and sell what they brought, and when it's gone, they go back," he said.

How long they stay in the area each trip depends on how big a stash they bring in, the DA said, but it can be up to a week.

E-mail Denise A. Raymo at: draymo@pressrepublican.com

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