Franklin County officials have put 28 people behind bars and pledge that more arrests are coming. It stems from a large county wide sting. Barry Wygel spoke with investigators about the crackdown on drug trafficking in the North Country.
MALONE, N.Y. -- Charged with selling heroin, cocaine, oxycodone and more, 28 people have already been arrested in what is being called one of the largest drug busts in Franklin County history.
"We, as law enforcement agencies, continue to modify the way we do business in reaction to the way drug dealers are doing their business and as a group, we have come together and we are successful," said Franklin County Sheriff Kevin Mulverhill.
Law enforcement officials say public support is playing an even more important role in catching drug traffickers. A number of the arrests came from reports of suspicious behavior.
"Sometimes it is just an increase in money, sometimes it's an increase in traffic. Sometimes it's just the neighborhood knowing that a person has no job and no income, but yet they seem to be living an affluent lifestyle," said Franklin County District Attorney Derek Champagne.
But even with this massive bust, officials see the potential for danger on the horizon with the threat of crystal meth.
"During the execution of some of the warrants, they, in fact, found people that were in the process of cooking crystal meth," said Champagne.
A statewide increase in meth consumption has local officials worried it might come here as well.
"Two years ago, there was only approximately 50 labs discovered in New York State. Last year, there was 147," said Champagne.
Another concern is people selling prescription drugs that were obtained using public money.
"We're going to come after you. If you have a drug problem, you're addicted to these hard drugs and the prescription drugs, go get help," said Billy Jones, chair of the Franklin County Board of Legislators.
Most of the suspects are being held in the Franklin County Jail, pending bail and additional charges.
Police also say they have seen an increase in robberies with crooks stealing prescription drugs out of homes. Officials remind the public to be sure to dispose of any medication once it expires in a safe manner.
Those arrested include:
- Scott Baker, 28 of Tupper Lake
- Ann Cook, 49 of Malone
- Marcel Cox, 28 of Brushton
- Todd Dabiew, 36 of Malone
- Michael Delair, 39 of Tupper Lake
- Randy Dwyer, 48 of Bellmont
- Robbie Eseltine, 32 of Malone
- Thomas Leonard, 20 of New Hampshire
- Shane Monaghan, 22 of Malone
- Debi Otley, 28 of Malone
- Aaron Patterson, 27 of Burke
- Adam Petell, 28 of Malone
- Cory Smith, 21 of Malone
- Nichole Thomas, 25, of Moira
- Roy Vermette, 62 of Malone
- Joseph O'Rourke, 34 of Malone
- Thomas Cook, 23 currently in jail
- Gerald Bashaw, 28 of Malone
- Angie Florence, 40 of Saranac Lake
- Joshua D'Angelo, 22 of Saranac Lake
- Brittany Hanley, 20 of Saranac Lake
- Travis Suprenant, 23 of Saranac Lake
- Shannon Kilner, 23 of Saranac Lake
- Chelsea Lorette, 23 of Saranac Lake
- Louis Howland, 25 of Saranac Lake
- Russell Carpenter, 23 of Saranac Lake
- Kyle Simpson, 29 of Saranac Lake
- Beth Woodruff, 40 of Saranac Lake