New York Attorney Gen. James busts heroin, fentanyl, cocaine drug ring

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New York Attorney General Letitia James announced Thursday that her office, in coordination with other law enforcement agencies, had shut down a multi-county drug ring providing fentanyl, cocaine, and heroin and other drugs in the state’s capital area.

The 303-count indictment covers individuals in Saratoga, Albany, Rensselaer, Schenectady, and Warren counties, as well as dealers located in New York City.

The network was distributing heroin laced with fentanyl, straight fentanyl the dealers were calling heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine, and illegal prescription pills. The bust netted the recovery of approximately 7 kilograms of cocaine, 70 grams of heroin, 120 grams of fentanyl, dozens of narcotic pills, and the seizure of $40,000.

“We will pursue and prosecute all those who peddle illicit drugs and put New Yorkers in harm’s way for personal profit,” said Attorney General James. “Communities across New York are safer today for having shut down this vast network of distributors and traffickers of illicit drugs. My office will remain vigilant about bringing these offenders to justice, and we are grateful to our other partners in law enforcement for their assistance.”

The year-long investigation, code-named “Operation Red Dawn,” was part of the Attorney General’s Suburban and Upstate Response to the Growing Epidemic (SURGE) Initiative to combat violent drug trafficking and included multiple state and local law enforcement agencies. Launched in 2017, the initiative has taken 554 alleged drug traffickers off the streets, James’ office said.

“Drug dealers do not limit their illegal activities to specific jurisdictions, and we have shown by this collaborative effort that law enforcement will rise to the challenge and protect our communities,” said City of Saratoga Springs Police Chief Shane Crooks. “This investigation is the direct result of the hard work done by members of the various agencies involved and shows just how effective law enforcement can be when working together.”

The indictment leveled charges against 47 individuals, most of whom faced multiple charges from Operating as a Major Trafficker to Criminal Sale and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance and Conspiracy in the Second Degree.

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