PLATTSBURGH — Twenty-six people were arrested on drug charges over the past week in Clinton County.
They join three more who were arraigned in November.
Three more indictments remained sealed until the named defendants are arrested.
The large volume of arrests has flooded the Clinton County Jail with new inmates and places a financial burden on taxpayers, “but (it is) a necessary expense to fight this war against the sale of controlled substances in Clinton County,” said Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wylie at a press conference Friday morning.
Two-thirds of those arrested already had criminal records, with charges ranging from driving while intoxicated to possession of a firearm, said Clinton County Assistant District Attorney Doug Collyer.
A third of them were previously charged with felonies, he added.
First-time felons are offered a treatment program for their alleged drug addiction, Collyer said.
This year, Clinton County has seen some of its highest numbers of arrests and investigations related to narcotics.
And a local prevalence of drugs underscores the national problem, said Assistant Special Agent in Change for the Albany District Office of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration James Burns Jr.
State Police Troop B Narcotics Unit Lt. Brent M. Davidson said that 2012 has brought the highest volume of controlled substance purchases in all of Troop B’s area of jurisdiction.
About 75 percent of the criminal cases the D.A.’s Office has prosecuted in 2012 have been narcotics-related, Collyer added.
And this year, it has prosecuted 69 total defendants through grand jury on sale and possession of controlled substances, which include heroine, cocaine, crack, prescription pills, meth and other drugs, Wylie said.
And the DA’s Office is in the process of prosecuting eight cases related to discovered methamphetamine labs, Wylie said. His office closed another meth case earlier this year, he said.