Press-Republican

Local News

December 16, 2010

Massive drug sweep across Clinton County

PLATTSBURGH — A massive drug sweep across Clinton County has left 31 people in custody, becoming the largest countywide arrest effort in more than a decade.

More than 70 law-enforcement officials from several agencies fanned out across the county early Thursday to execute warrants for many of the accused.

While some were picked up earlier this week, most were arrested Thursday.

As of midday, police were still searching for one person, whom they did not identify because it is a sealed indictment.

State Police Lt. Charles Potthast said the sweep “went very smooth,” with no incidents reported.

‘LARGER SCALE OF DRUGS’

District Attorney Andrew Wylie, who led an afternoon news conference to detail the busts, said the warrants stemmed from recent grand-jury action and ranged from accusations of cocaine dealing to illegal sales of dangerous prescriptions.

No drugs or money were seized during the arrests.

Wylie said the broad range of drugs involved in the indictments represents what has become a “larger scale of drugs in the community.”

He said the sweep has been in the works for about a year and is a prime example of the collaborative success of the Adirondack Drug Task Force and State Police Troop B Narcotics Task Force.

“I think it says a lot about the Adirondack Drug Task Force,” he said, applauding the effort’s continued success in the community.

“We’ll never get each and every individual off the street, but this certainly takes a big crack out of it.”

SENDING A MESSAGE

Echoing those sentiments, Plattsburgh City Police Chief Desmond Racicot said sweeps like Thursday’s widespread effort send a message that illegal drug use in the community will not be tolerated.

James Burns, assistant special agent for DEA Operations in New York, also commended the Task Force for its ongoing work, saying, “Without these collaborative efforts in bringing in all these agencies’ resources to the table, we can’t make these cases.”

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