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Cocaine and a loaded gun found in two drug busts in Niagara Falls

NIAGARA FALLS – Two men were arrested after warrants were served Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning.

After a five- to six-month investigation, Niagara Falls Narcotics investigators, along with the department’s Emergency Response Team and federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and Drug Enforcement Agency, made a forced entry into an upper apartment in the 2700 block of Forest Avenue at about 3 p.m. Wednesday.

They found a total of eight grams of powdered and crack cocaine, as well as a loaded .40-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun, with the serial numbers scratched off.

Rhasheen Bowden, 39, was charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell and second- and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, for both possession and defacing of the gun.

Niagara Falls Police Narcotics Detective Capt. David LeGault said officers are investigating whether the gun may have been stolen.

“This guy has been around a long time. He is well known to police,” said LeGault, calling Bowden a “very dangerous guy.” He noted that he was a longtime drug dealer selling crack and powdered cocaine.

LeGault said, “He was selling daily.”

Another man was charged Thursday with selling crack cocaine in his apartment after police received a call on their tipline.

A search warrant was served at the apartment building in the 900 block of Cedar Avenue, and police confiscated a small amount of crack cocaine.

Alfonzo Hicks Sr., 42, was charged with third- and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminally using drug paraphernalia.

LeGault said Hicks had been cooking drugs in his apartment and had a lot of the equipment that goes with it, and selling small amounts of crack cocaine.

He said police have received a number of complaints over the past few months.

“It gives people some relief,” LeGault said of the tipline-related arrest.

“It lets people know that we are listening to their phone calls.”