Law enforcement officials say they've dismantled two major drug rings and charged 32 people -- one from Jamestown -- responsible for funneling cocaine and heroin into western New York. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and State Police Superintendent Joseph D'Amico announced the results of a joint 13-month investigation on Thursday. The officials say investigators seized nearly one-million dollars worth of heroin... and, several hundred thousand dollars' worth of cocaine as they targeted the flow of drugs into Rochester and Buffalo. Those indicted include 19 people from Rochester, seven from Buffalo, two from New York City. The person from Jamestown was identified as Bryan Moore. They, along with two Massachusetts men and one from Pennsylvania, face charges of possessing and distributing drugs. The suspects were arrested during a series of overnight raids.
Two Jamestown men are jailed following a drug raid on an apartment on the city's westside late Thursday morning. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers and State Police C-NET team members executed a search warrant at 847 Lafayette Street shortly before 10:30 AM... and, found 29 year-old Laval Johnson inside. Samuelson says they found Johnson with a quantity of "crack" cocaine and cash in his possession. He says if was NOT a large amount of "crack," though. Samuelson says Johnson was arrested for Felony criminal possession of a controlled substance. The other man in the apartment... 25 year-old Antonio Sanders... was arrested on two warrants. Samuelson says both men were arraigned and sent to the county jail. Johnson was jailed without bail... while Sanders was remanded on one-thousand dollars bail.
Two Brooklyn men have been arrested for allegedly trying to smuggle nearly 500 cartons of untaxed cigarettes into the area. Cattaraugus County Sheriff's officers say... following an investigation... they pulled over a vehicle on Route 219 in the town of Carrollton late Wednesday... and, found the unstamped and untaxed smokes in the back. The two men in the car... 21 year-old Muad Almontaser... and, 19 year-old Gehad Almontaser... were both arrested... and, charged with third-degree criminal taxation fraud, and, criminal taxation -- transporting more than 150 cartons. It's estimated that the cigarettes... brought from Virginia to New York by the pair... cost the state just over 21-thousand dollars in excise taxes. Muad Almonstaser is also charged with speeding and unlicensed operation. The state Taxation and Finance Criminal Investigation's Cigarette Strike Force assisted in the investigation. Both men were arraigned and sent to the county jail on 10-thousand dollars bail each.
"Start Up New York" is starting up in Chautauqua County. One of the two local colleges has had it's plan approved by the state... and, the other is almost there. County Industrial Development Agency Director and CEO Bill Daly held a meeting with representatives from the SUNY College at Fredonia and Jamestown Community College in Mayville Wednesday. Daly says JCC is ready to do business. The SUNY Collage at Fredonia is currently going through a two-step approval process that includes the State University of New York and Empire State Development. Daly while both colleges have submitted plans, there is an understanding that they will not be competiting against each other -- but, be working together. Daly also says both colleges have made it clear that businesses that are brought into the area will not be competing against existing businesses. SUNY Fredonia President Dr. Virginia Horvath, JCC President Dr. Cory Duckworth, and County Executive Vince Horrigan were among the leaders who attended the forum. The Start Up New York iniative was approved by Governor Cuomo and the state legislature last year to establish tax-free sites for new and expanding businesses.
The United Way of Southern Chautauqua County is recognizing ten "Volunteers of the Year" for 2013 as part of it's new, "12 Months of Caring" initiative. That from Executive Director Tori Irgang... who says the program involves employees of local companies and organizations seeing firsthand what the United Way is about... and, how their contributions are used by partner agencies. The United Way paid tribute to those people involved at Wednesday night's volunteer reception. One of those projects was installing new, energy efficient lighting at the Boy's and Girl's Club of Jamestown. The project was undertaken by Local-#106 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. The IBEW was also recognized by the club as it's "Volunteer of the Year," as well. Irgang says the "12 Months of Caring" initiative is also geared towards the newest generation of workers in the community who tend to see the value of "shorter term" projects... and, not a campaign of giving that lasts for a lengthy period of time. The United Way's 11 other partner agencies also recognized their "Volunteer of the Year" at Wednesday's reception.
Good tickets remain for the Jamestown Skating Club's annual "Excellence on Ice" program tomorrow at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena. Director Menash Petscher says they'll have two performances featuring Skating Club members at 3 and 7 PM. Members are of a variety of ages... and, have been practicing hard for this year's show. Tickets are 10-dollars for general admission... 20-dollars for rinkside VIP Tables. For more information... call 484-2624.