Sheriff's Office: Trans-national drug operation results in local arrests

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - Four individuals have been arrested in connection with a trans-national drug operation, according to the Erie County Sheriff's Office.

On April 11th around 5 p.m, while the Sheriff's Narcotics Unit surveilled the investigation's main target, they encountered another suspect. 

The unit tried to stop a vehicle operated by 26-year-old Alexander Ruof-Brown (of Buffalo) at Eggert and Eldon streets in the City of Buffalo. Ruof-Brown sped up and attempted to run over a unit member, then continued driving with three children and a female passenger, until finally stopping to exit the car and run. 

Deputies followed the Ruof-Brown through the neighborhood. About 40 minutes later, Buffalo Police Patrol Officers found the suspect on a roof in the Fennimore Street area. Ruof-Brown jumped from roof top to roof top until the officers were able to apprehend him on Fennimore Street.

In Ruof-Brown's car, deputies found marijuana and cocaine. He was arrested and charged with a slew counts including:

  • criminal possession of a narcotic with intent to sell
  • unlawful fleeing a police officer
  • endangering the welfare of a child
  • aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle.

After the pursuit, the Narcotics unit executed a search warrant at 53-year-old David Hardware's (of Buffalo) residence. He was the main target of the investigation. Detectives and deputies found hundreds of pounds of marijuana and "a large amount of U.S. Currency."

After the search, Hardware was arrested and charged with:

  • felony count of criminal possession of marijuana.

On April 12th, the Narcotics Unit and Homeland Security executed additional warrants on a secondary address for David Hardware. There, officials discovered about fifty pounds of marijuana and arrested 24-year-old Wendy Hall (of Jamaica) and 32-year-old Deshawn Whims (of Jamaica). Both were in the U.S. illegally.

Hall and Whims were each charged with: 

  • felony count of criminal possession of marijuana.

All four individuals are currently being held at the Erie County Holding Center awaiting arraignment in Buffalo City Court.

The three children in Ruof-Brown's car at the time of the arrest were given to a relative and Child Protective Services were called.

The Sheriff's Narcotics Unit worked in collaboration with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Border Enhanced Security Taskforce, and Buffalo Police.

Earlier this year, Ruof-Brown was taken into police custody after being caught driving drunk with five kids, a loaded gun, and drugs in a vehicle.

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