Police investigations lead to drug arrests in Saranac Lake
SARANAC LAKE — Separate investigations from village police and State Police in the past week resulted in two significant drug busts, with police finding large bundles of heroin as well as some crystal methamphetamine and charging six people with possessing the drugs.
SLPD Chief Darin Perrotte said a few weeks ago, his department and the village Code Enforcement Department learned that a couple may have been staying in an empty residence on McClelland Street without permission. Both departments had been called to the residence for multiple complaints of noise and other disturbances. He said they learned that the two individuals staying within the residence never had permission to be there and had entered illegally.
There was a “lengthy” investigation.
“It took some time to track down the rightful owner of the property, who now resides in Florida,” Perrotte wrote in a press release. “The owner did not have any knowledge of the individuals staying in his Saranac Lake residence.”
Once their occupancy was determined to be illegal, Perrotte said the two were arrested “swiftly” and SLPD was granted an arrest warrant by Harrietstown Town Court Judge Leonard Young.
SLPD officers and members of the New York State Police Troop B Narcotics Enforcement Unit arrested Scott A. Stevens, 37, and his girlfriend, Jennifer T. Sirman, 36, both of Saranac Lake, at the residence.
Police had had tips about drugs at this house, and both occupants had been arrested in the past, he said.
During the arrest, officers said they saw narcotics paraphernalia “in plain view” and applied for a search warrant for the residence, which Young also granted.
Through this warrant, Perrotte said they found approximately three “bricks” of heroin containing fentanyl, along with crystal methamphetamine and other drug paraphernalia. He estimated the drugs seized hold a street value of several thousand dollars, around $2,000 in each brick.
This was a significant amount of heroin, Perrotte said. It was not a significant amount of methamphetamine. The heroin “bricks” were packets of one inch-by-one inch-by-five inch filled with glassine bags of the drug. Perrotte said each was around the size of two packs of gum.
The heroin tested positive for fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opiate. Perrotte said fentanyl is responsible for the majority of drug overdoses in the area.
“Drugs like this are dangerous to everyone in the community and we will continue doing what it takes to get them off our streets,” Perrotte said in a statement.
Stevens and Sirman were both charged with second-degree burglary, a felony; third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, a felony; as well as seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and second-degree criminal use of drug paraphernalia, both misdemeanors.
“Items located are consistent with the sale of the narcotic drugs,” Perrotte wrote.
Both were remanded to Franklin County Jail and bailed out that night on either $5,000 cash bail or $10,000 bail bond.
Bench warrant leads to arrests
On Dec. 20, around 3 p.m., State Police attempted to locate Jamie E. Bombard, 24, of Bloomingdale, for an active bench warrant.
When approaching her last known address, police said a gray 2012 Honda Civic was observed leaving the area with passengers inside of the vehicle. Troopers identified Bombard as one of the passengers and stopped the car on Academy Way in the town of St. Armand.
Bombard was identified and taken into custody for the bench warrant.
During the stop, the operator of the vehicle, Kyle R. Simpson, 38, of Saranac Lake, was found to have a revoked driver’s license, police said.
The other passengers in the vehicle were identified as Eric D. Ryan, 52, and Lauren M. Harvey, 37, both of Saranac Lake.
Police said after gaining consent, a search of the vehicle was conducted and resulted in troopers locating of narcotics within the vehicle.
Ryan, Bombard, Simpson and Harvey were found to be in possession of over 2,000 bags of heroin testing positive for fentanyl, along with about 42 grams of crystal methamphetamine, according to police.
The four were arrested and transported to State Police barracks in Ray Brook. After speaking with the Essex County district attorney’s office, all four were charged with possession of narcotics and incarcerated in Essex County Jail pending arraignment. Jail records show they were all still in custody on Thursday afternoon.
Bombard, Ryan, Harvey and Simpson were all charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine, and second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, all felonies, as well as criminal use of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor. Simpson was additionally issued traffic tickets for second-degree aggravated unlicensed operator, a misdemeanor, as well as unlicensed operator and no inspection.
Perrotte said all six of these people were “players in the same game.” He said these arrests hurt their finances, but this is certainly not the end of drugs in Saranac Lake. When one hole in a supply chain closes because a supply is confiscated, another opens up, he said, anywhere there’s money to be made.
Perrotte said it is often that people struggling with addiction become sellers to feed their habit. These “little fish” are often the people who get arrested, not the large distributors from cities around the state.
He said if people want to detox from drugs, they can reach out to the police department.
“I understand how silly that sounds that people may not reach out to the police with a drug problem, but we are there to provide resources,” Perrotte said.
But he said people need to want to get help first.