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October 3, 2013

Police: Largest heroin bust in Clinton Co. history

PLATTSBURGH — On Wednesday, police uncovered what they believe to be the largest quantity of heroin seized at one time in Clinton County — worth an estimated $30,000.

James D. Walker, 28, of Schenectady and Jose Alicea, 27, of Scotia were both charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a felony.

‘SUSPECT FLED’

At about 11:15 a.m. Wednesday, police stopped a 2013 Ford on Route 3 in the Town of Plattsburgh, Plattsburgh City Police said in a news release.

The vehicle was stopped for a traffic infraction, said Plattsburgh City Police Chief Desmond Racicot, who declined to say where it was pulled over on Route 3.

Once the car was stopped, Alicea fled and led officers on a brief foot chase; he was apprehended a short time later, police said.

The Ford was taken back to the Plattsburgh Police Department, where a search found 600 bags of heroin, all packaged for resale with an estimated street value of $30,000, police said.

The Adirondack Drug Task Force had begun its investigation into Walker and Alicea’s alleged criminal activity in May, police said.

Racicot declined to comment on whether Walker and Alicea have been trafficking drugs into the North Country for an extended period of time.

They were arraigned in Plattsburgh Town Court Wednesday evening and were sent to the Clinton County Jail without bail, according to City Police Detective Matt Bell, who is a member of the Adirondack Drug Task Force.

‘CONSTANT BATTLE’

Racicot said Wednesday’s bust was a huge victory for area law enforcement agencies.

“That much heroin in a single delivery is really substantial,” he said. “We’re very fortunate to get this off the streets before it can even be sold.”

Despite size of the seizure, the demand for illicit drugs will continue to fuel the supply, the chief said.

“The reality of this is that the customers are still there,” he said. “Having people there wanting that product will cause other people to bring up heroin (to the North Country). This is a constant battle.”

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