Press-Republican

Police, Fire, Courts

December 19, 2013

60 indicted in North Country's biggest drug bust

Largest bust in North Country

PLATTSBURGH — Sixty people have been indicted on drug charges by a Clinton County grand jury in the largest drug sweep in North Country history.

The busts were announced at a news conference Wednesday afternoon held by Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wylie and representatives of other law-enforcement agencies.

‘FIVE STILL SOUGHT’

Five were still being sought as of Wednesday, Wylie said.

Two are in state prison and will be arraigned in the coming days, and two of the defendants are awaiting extradition to Clinton County from Florida and Maine.

In the bust, police seized a 9mm Glock handgun, more than 7 ounces of cocaine, 260 bags of heroin packaged for individual sale and about $20,178 in cash, Wylie said. The funds will be distributed to local police departments, the DA’s Office and drug treatment programs.

The investigation into the alleged drug sales dates back to October 2012, the DA said, adding that the majority of those arrested were taken into custody Monday and Tuesday, with the rest arrested in the past 10 days or so.

’PRISON TIME LIKELY’

The defendants have been charged with either third- or fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance or third- or fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, both felonies.

“A multitude of the defendants will likely face state prison sentences,” Wylie said.

Depending on their charges and criminal histories, defendants could face sentences ranging from two and a half to 60 years in state prison.

As of Wednesday afternoon, two people had posted bail, seven had been released by the court, and 17 remained in the Clinton County Jail, Clinton Country Sheriff David Favro said.

Of the 60 suspects, 28 were charged with the sale and possession of heroin, 15 for cocaine, 16 for prescription medication and two for methamphetamine, Wylie said.

Wylie said heroin has had an increased presence in the community over the past year, calling the impact “devastating.”

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