Eighteen alleged cocaine distributors and dealers were arrested Wednesday and Thursday, as two major narcotics investigations culminated here.
Police Chief Ernest C. Palmer and FBI Supervisory Senior Resident Agent Gene Slone said they hoped the remaining six suspects would be arrested soon.
The arrests came after 35 city detectives, state troopers and FBI agents fanned out across the Niagara Falls-Buffalo area early Wednesday and again Thursday to execute federal and Niagara County grand jury indictment warrants, Palmer said.
The federal arrests were made Wednesday after a 2 1/2 -year investigation that involved wiretaps and was a spinoff of a larger investigation involving law enforcement officials in New York City and Puerto Rico, Palmer said.
Arrested Wednesday in the FBI-city investigation were William A. Rivera, 22, of 20th Street, Niagara Falls; Diady L. Rivera, 29, of Linwood Avenue, Niagara Falls; George J. Dueno, 26, of Locust Street, Lockport; Omar J. Abdullah, 26, of West Summerset Lane, Amherst; Albert A. Kreps, 25, currently an inmate in the Niagara County Jail; Darnell S. Kreps, 21, of Ninth Street, Niagara Falls; Jacqueline M. Castro, 24, of Linwood, Niagara Falls; and John R. Elsberry Jr., 25, of Ferry Avenue, Niagara Falls.
Danielle M. Quinn, 27, of 80th Street, Niagara Falls, was arrested Thursday morning, police said.
All were charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and conspiracy to distribute, 5 kilograms or more of cocaine and marijuana. They also were charged with numerous counts of using telephones to commit or facilitate the commission of a drug felony, police said.
Elsberry also was charged with two counts of drug distribution, while Diady Rivera was arrested on one drug distribution charge. Each carries a maximum 20-year prison term and a $1 million fine, or both, federal officials said.
Assistant U.S. Attorney William J. Knapp said the federal indictment accused the defendants of taking part in an ongoing conspiracy from mid-1997 through mid-1999 that "involved the transportation of cocaine and marijuana into the City of Niagara Falls" from places like New York City "for distribution in the Niagara Falls area."
Thursday, city and state police, with FBI assistance, completed a five-month iprobe into street-level crack cocaine sales here with the arrest of nine suspects in Niagara Falls, Palmer said.
Charged with third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance were Mocellie A. Bitting, 19, of Ashland Avenue; Irish N. Palmer, 30, of Niagara Street; Lemon Crumpler, 39, of 13th Street; David Porter, 56, of 12th Street; LaVerne S. Morgan, 39, of Center Court; Michael C. Moore, 45, of Memorial Parkway; Patricia Porter, 45, of Cleveland Avenue; Carl R. Adams, 30, of Spruce Avenue; and Emanuel L. Rogers, 18, of 10th Street.
County warrants are outstanding on six other suspects in that investigation, Palmer said. They are accused of selling crack cocaine to undercover officers.