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46 bags of heroin seized in West Side raid 3 suspects arrested, face felony charges

Narcotics investigators seized 46 bags of heroin and arrested three suspects during a raid Saturday in a Lower West Side home.

"It was my understanding that some of the heroin was found in a baby doll's head, apparently to prevent detection," said Buffalo Chief of Detectives Dennis J. Richards.

Working with the state attorney general's Organized Crime Task Force, the city's Narcotics Unit executed a search warrant at 263 Whitney Place.

The suspects were identified as Frank Matias, 18; Sonia Matias, 41; and Nicole John, 18. All three live at 263 Whitney.

The three are scheduled to be arraigned today in City Court on numerous charges, including a felony count of drug possession with intent to sell. They also were charged with possessing marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Frank Matias was arrested two weeks earlier on felony charges of cocaine and marijuana possession.

Police seized three grams of heroin and 25 grams of marijuana at the home, police spokesman Michael J. DeGeorge said.

In an another raid less than two miles away, police swooped down on a home at 953 West Ave. Saturday. Luis Santiago, 29, of that address, also will be arraigned Sunday on narcotics charges. Police said they found a surveillance camera on the porch of the West Avenue home that apparently was being used to monitor outside activity.

Since early January, police officers have executed 987 search warrants as part of Mayor Byron W. Brown's anti-narcotics offensive.

"These arrests are indicative of the continuing, relentless efforts of this administration to rid the streets of illegal drugs," said Richards in a written statement released shortly after Saturday's raids.

The drug busts were supervised by senior investigator Michael R. McParlane of the state attorney general's office and Buffalo narcotics Lt. Thomas Lyon.


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