Suspected drug dealer charged after raid of Niagara Falls motel room - The Buffalo News

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Suspected drug dealer charged after raid of Niagara Falls motel room

NIAGARA FALLS – City police said a Niagara Falls man dealing heroin from a motel room was arrested Monday night following a raid that included the emergency response team.

Police, who believed the suspect was armed, forced open the door to the room at the Budget Host Inn, 6621 Niagara Falls Blvd., at about 8:30 p.m.

Robert W. Francis, 22, of Cleveland Avenue, was found in the room with a woman; her 11-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter; and a man identified as Anthony M. Loverdi of South Avenue, police said.

Francis was charged with felony reckless endangerment and felony criminal possession of a weapon – the latter charge linked to a drive-by shooting late last week. He was additionally charged with endangering the welfare of a child and third- and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Loverdi was charged with first-degree loitering for the purpose of purchasing drugs. The mother of the two children was not charged. However, Child Protective Services was summoned and the children were turned over to a maternal grandfather, Narcotics Detective Capt. David LeGault said.

“Our narcotics detectives doing surveillance on the motel room actually observed several hand-to-hand narcotics buys, from people in the motel room to people driving up,” LeGault said.

“But because our main focus was this guy – and we believed him to be armed with a couple guns – we didn’t do anything and had to let them go while we waited for the search warrant.”

LeGault said Francis had fired a shot from a moving car late last week following a drug deal gone bad on 18th Street and Cleveland Avenue.

No gun was found in the raid, but detectives seized 3.5 grams of heroin, 10 illegal prescription pills and a quantity of marijuana.

“It was good coordination between narcotics detectives, patrol division, and [emergency response team] lieutenants. They all did a real good job,” said LeGault, who said more charges are possible.

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