NIAGARA FALLS, NY ( WKBW ) Eyewitness News cameras were rolling early Tuesday morning in the City of Niagara Falls where raids ended up netting over two dozen suspects.
The crisp morning calm was broken for many when law enforcement stormed into their dwellings, taking individuals into custody for allegedly being involved in criminal activity.
Over 120 law enforcement officials from the ATF, DEA, Border Patrol, New York State Police, Falls Police, and Town of Tonawanda forces began their work shortly after 5a.m. to round up suspects they say are responsible for over 600 violent crimes that they know of.
Here is the very latest on the raids:
26 ARRESTED IN NIAGARA FALLS NARCOTICS ROUNDUP
BUFFALO, N.Y.-- ( release ) U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. and Acting Special Agent in Charge of the of the New York Field Division United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Wilbert L. Plummer announced today that 26 people have been arrested and charged in 26 separate Criminal Complaints with possession with intent to distribute and distribution of crack cocaine or cocaine.
Under arrest are Ashley Barns, 21, Rasaun Blackmon, 21, Michael Brewer, 23, Anthony Burge, 22, Rodriquez Burton, 22, Christopher Carter, 21, Christopher Cessna-Carter, 19, Lester Cook, 28, Rashaun Dix, 26, Darryl Martin, 52, Paul Fields, 26, Qadree Fields, 28, Johnny Gaddis, 20, Asad Hixon, 20, Curry Jones Jr., 25, Kevin King Sr., 37, Alexander Matthews, 39, Deon McTyere, 28, Darmaine Prather, 21, Shawn Pryor, 20, Levester Rose, 33, Morris Shavers, 43, Bryant Searles, Jr., 26, John Smith, 27, Rajeir Vincent, 36, and Rashan Vincent, 31, all of Niagara Falls, N.Y.
The charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine. Martin, King Sr., Dix and Rashan Vincent face a mandatory minimum of five years and a maximum 40 years in prison and a $5,000,000 fine if convicted.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys George C. Burgasser and Charles B. Wydysh, who are handling the case, stated that according to the Criminal Complaint, the defendants sold crack cocaine and cocaine throughout the Niagara Falls area between May 2011 and November 2011.
"Our Office will work with all of our law enforcement partners to rid the streets of drugs and the violence often associated with them," said U.S. Attorney Hochul.
Wilbert L. Plummer, Acting Special Agent in Charge, New York Field Division, Drug Enforcement Administration stated "These violent drug defendants have been arrested today due to the collaborative law enforcement efforts to keep our streets safe. The residents of Niagara Falls should rest knowing that guns and drugs have been taken off the streets and that these defendants are behind bars, where they belong."
"I would like to thank the United States Attorney's Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the members of the Niagara Falls Police Department for the extensive work generated, making today's arrests a reality," said Niagara Falls Police Chief John Chella. "I am encouraged, because of those individuals charged today, the streets of Niagara Falls will be safer for its residents."
The Criminal Complaint is the culmination of an investigation on the part of the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Wilbert L. Plummer, Acting Special Agent in Charge, New York Field Division, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Resident Agent in Charge Frank Christiano, the Niagara Falls Police Department, under the direction of Chief John Chella, the U.S. Border Patrol, under the direction of Chief Border Patrol Agent Kevin W. Oaks, and the Internal Revenue Service, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Charles R. Pine.
The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
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