NIAGARA FALLS – Narcotics detectives have made a series of arrests of suspected drug dealers and suspected prostitutes in recent weeks.

Narcotics Division Detective Capt. David LeGault said Thursday that a directive from Police Superintendent E. Bryan DalPorto was to address quality-of-life issues, clean up the streets and make neighborhoods safer.

“It all goes hand-in-hand,” LeGault said of the arrests. “The drugs, the violence and the quality-of-life issues. It really all ties together. People are tearing up the neighborhoods.”

He said narcotics detectives focused on houses that neighbors had complained about. They served four warrants, raiding two suspected drug houses over the past two weeks.

Detectives along with the department’s Emergency Response Team served a warrant on Oct. 7 in the 400 block of 23rd St. and charged Jessie Murray, 56, of that address with fifth-degree and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of marijuana. LeGault said they found a quantity of heroin, along with crack cocaine and pills.

A warrant was served on Tuesday in an upper apartment in the 1100 block of Willow Ave., and Kristi Kargatis, 25, was charged with four counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminally using drug paraphernalia. LeGault said she had been selling pills and crack cocaine and detectives found her with crack cocaine, suboxone strips and 56 hydrocodone pills.

He said it was the second search warrant involving her at that apartment in the past 2½ months.

Tyrone B. Clark, 45, of Michigan Avenue was stopped on Wednesday on Niagara Avenue and charged with third- and fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of marijuana. Detectives said they found him with crack cocaine and marijuana.

Tyler C. Smith, 19, of Lomberd, Ill., was suspected of selling crack cocaine on the streets and, after undercover officers made a buy, he was charged on Oct. 8 in the 900 block of Ontario Avenue with two counts of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

In addition, over the past three weeks six Niagara Falls women suspected of prostitution, mostly on street corners in the 400 block of 19th Street and along the 19th Street business district in the South End of the city, were arrested and charged with loitering for the purpose of prostitution. A Lockport woman and a Grand Island woman also were arrested on similar charges.


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