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Saranac Lake drug sweep nets 18 arrests, heroin bust

August 28, 2013
By CHRIS KNIGHT - Senior Staff Writer (cknight@adirondackdailyenterprise.com) , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

SARANAC LAKE - A multi-agency roundup of suspected drug dealers netted 18 arrests here today and one of the largest seizures of heroin village police have seen in years.

Another 18 suspects were arrested in other parts of Franklin County, including two from Tupper Lake, during the day-long sweep. Police were still looking for several additional suspects as of this evening.

The Saranac Lake end of the roundup began shortly after 7 a.m. when a group of roughly 35 local, state and federal law enforcement personnel met at the Saranac Lake police for a briefing.

Article Photos

Police take a suspect wanted on a warrant into custody Wednesday morning outside an apartment house at 155 Broadway during a roundup of suspected drug dealers in the Saranac Lake area.
(Enterprise photo — Chris Knight)

Village Police Chief Bruce Nason told the group they were looking for 18 people, although he said one had already been picked up Tuesday night by the Watertown Police Department.

"We anticipate getting 17," Nason told the group. "That's the goal."

The police, sheriff's deputies and federal agents were divided into five initial teams, each made up of five to six people, and sent to the first five locations, which included homes and apartment houses on Franklin Avenue, Lake Street, McKenzie Pond Road and Algonquin Avenue. Most of the suspects they sought were wanted on warrants for selling cocaine or prescription drugs like Suboxone.

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As of 5 p.m. tonight, Nason said police had made 18 arrests, a number that includes several people who weren't on the original list of suspects targeted in the morning raids. Nason said he had four other warrants that had yet to be served for people whom police were still trying to find and may have left the area.

At one point during the sweep, police went to an apartment house at 155 Broadway looking for two suspects on the list. They didn't find them, but police executed a search warrant and found six ounces of heroin, along with crack cocaine and other drugs. The street value of all those drugs is roughly $12,000, Nason said.

"We expected to find some, but this is the biggest, as far as heroin, since I've been here," said Nason, who's been with the Saranac Lake Police Department since 1994. "It was all in individual packages and ready to go."

Franklin County District Attorney Derek Champagne said the morning began with police seeking a total of 36 people across the county. Thirty-one had been charged as of 5 p.m. this evening, he said, including three who were already in custody at the Franklin County Jail on other charges. One suspect police are still looking for ran through the woods in Mountain View when officers approached his residence, Champagne said.

The DA said dealers from urban areas like Syracuse, New York City, New Jersey and Massachusetts are trying to establish organized heroin and cocaine supply networks in the North Country.

"These groups are repeatedly making efforts at moving to our rural communities and thinking that they can set up shop and be unnoticed," Champagne said. "Law enforcement will take notice and are taking notice."

At the same time, there's also a growing crystal methamphetamine problem in the region, Champagne said. Two of the people police planned to charge today were being sought for possessing chemicals used to make meth.

"The ability to make small amounts of crystal meth is clearly here," the DA said. "And with these activities comes new addictions. These new addictions eventually lead to a need for increased volume of use for those who have become addicted. The impact on a community can be devastating."

Champagne said some of the nearly 40 arrests made across the county were based on information provided by the public.

"I've had people contact the office and say, 'Look, my neighbor's going to New York City, he's coming back once a week, and then there's a nonstop flow of cars and people I don't recognize going into the house,'" Champagne said. "We're just asking people to be vigilant and aware of what's going on in their community."

Nason said he was still compiling a list of all 18 people arrested in the Saranac Lake area before releasing it. Ten of the 18 were listed on a press release provided by Champagne's office:

-Angie Pratt Florence, 40, of Saranac Lake, was charged with two counts each of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and third-degree criminal possession of a narcotic for allegedly possessing selling cocaine. She was arraigned in village court and remanded to the county jail in lieu of $5,000 cash bail or $10,000 bond.

-Joshua D. D'Angelo, 22, of Saranac Lake, was charged with two counts of fourth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance for allegedly selling Suboxone. He was arraigned and released under the supervision of probation.

-Brittany Hanley, 20, of Saranac Lake, was charged with two counts of fourth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance for allegedly selling Suboxone. He was arraigned and released under the supervision of probation.

-Travis J. Suprenant, 23, of Saranac Lake, was charged with third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance for allegedly selling morphine. He was arraigned and remanded to the county jail in lieu of $5,000 cash bail or $10,000 bond.

-Shannon M. Kilner, 23, of Saranac Lake, was charged with three counts of fourth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance for allegedly selling Suboxone. She was arraigned and released under the supervision of probation.

-Chelsea M. Lorette, 23, of Saranac Lake, was charged with fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance for allegedly selling Xanax. She was arraigned and remanded to the county jail in lieu of $5,000 cash bail or $10,000 bond.

-Louis A. Howland Jr., 25, of Saranac Lake, was charged with three counts of fourth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance for allegedly selling cocaine, and one count of criminal sale of marijuana. He was arraigned and remanded to the county jail in lieu of $5,000 cash bail or $10,000 bond.

-Russell K. Carpenter, 23, of Saranac Lake, was charged with four counts of fourth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance for allegedly selling cocaine and Suboxone. His arraignment information wasn't immediately available.

-Kyle R. Simpson, 29, of Saranac Lake, was charged with fifth-degree criminal sale and fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance for allegedly selling and possessing Suboxone. His arraignment information wasn't immediately available.

-Beth M. Woodruff, 40, of Saranac Lake, was charged with fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and four counts of fourth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance for allegedly selling Suboxone. Her arraignment information wasn't immediately available.

Two Tupper Lake residents were also charged as part of the countywide roundup:

-Scott D. Baker, 28, was charged with two counts of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance for allegedly selling heroin, a single count of the same charge for allegedly selling Fentanyl, and three counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance for allegedly possessing heroin and Fentanyl. He was indicted and remanded to the county jail without bail, pending arraignment.

-Michael J. Delair, 39, was charged with two counts each of criminal sale and possession of a controlled substance for allegedly selling and possessing heroin. He was indicted and remanded to the county jail without bail, pending arraignment.

Law enforcement agencies involved in the raids included village police in Malone, Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake, state police, Franklin County sheriff's deputies, the St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Police Department, U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Massena Border Enforcement Security Team and the Homeland Security Investigations unit.

 
 

 

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