(Buffalo, N.Y.) It was a Valentines Day surprise that drug dealers in the City of Buffalo never expected.
In a massive 2-day effort, law enforcement officers, backed up by SWAT and K-9 teams, executed 101 search warrants.
The raids were a team effort between the Buffalo Police Narcotics Squad and many other local agencies.
Officers arrested 54 people and confiscated 11 guns (9 shotguns/rifles & 2 handguns). An additional 15 arrests are pending further investigation.
Police seized over 5 pounds of marijuana, 5.5 ounces of crack/powder cocaine, heroin, and assorted prescription pills.
$9,797 in cash was recovered as well as over $2,000 in stolen property.
At two locations, SWAT teams shot and killed dogs. Police say the shootings were "unfortunate", but 7 other dogs were recovered alive.
"Dogs are often used as tools to protect illegal drugs and guns at those locations," says Lt. Paul Delano from the Buffalo Police Narcotics Squad.
The raids are the largest effort of its kind to date.
According to City of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, "Residents are fed up with drug dealing. They are fed up with crime. They are fed up with gun play in the community."
Police say community information played a big role in identifying suspected drug dealers.
"People don't want to live next to these houses even if they are selling small amounts of marijuana and other narcotics," says Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda.
Operation IMPACT funding was made available for the execution of the search warrants.
SWAT TEAMS: Amherst PD, Cheektowaga PD, Erie County Sheriff's Department, Hamburg PD, Niagara Falls PD, the NFTA, Orchard Park PD, and the Town of Tonawanda PD
K-9 SQUADS: Cheektowaga PD, Erie County Sheriff's Department, Lewiston PD, Niagara County Sheriff's Department, New York State PD, and the Town of Tonawanda PD
OTHER SUPPORTING AGENCIES: Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), US Marshals, Lancaster PD, Lackawanna PD, Hamburg PD, Town of Tonawanda PD, Erie County Sheriff's Department, and the Border Patrol