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Three raids lead to seizure of crack cocaine, marijuana

Three recent raids in Niagara Falls are being credited with closing a Niagara Avenue crack house and choking off cocaine and marijuana trafficking.

Narcotics Lt. Bryan DalPorto said Wednesday that citizen complaints of drug sales from the porch of 1806 Niagara Ave. led to raid at 9 p.m. Tuesday, with the arrest of six suspects and seizure of crack cocaine.

Charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance are: Douglas Ellison, 27, no address listed; Tina Abrams, 48, Cleveland Avenue; John Gates, 45, of La Salle Avenue; Henry Dykes, 51, Niagara Avenue; Christopher Ridgeway, 49, Zito Drive; and Clairetha Ferguson, 58, of Niagara Avenue. Ellison also was charged with fifth-degree criminal possession, and Ferguson faces criminal tampering charges after she swallowed a quantity of cocaine, police said.

"We're happy that we are making progress in addressing citizen complaints and the efforts will continue to clean up the neighborhoods," DalPorto said Wednesday. "It was absolutely a drug house.

Detectives on Tuesday afternoon also raided an apartment at 1711 22nd St., seizing more than 50 grams of powdered cocaine, one gram of crack cocaine and a quantity of marijuana, a loaded assault rifle, 500 rounds of ammunition and $1,700, police said.

Samuel Haynes, Jr., 29, and Kenneth Williams, 28, both of the 22nd Street address, were charged each with third- and fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance.

"It was a substantial amount of cocaine, which is indicative of high-volume drug sales," DalPorto said.

Both warrants were served following a six-week investigation by Narcotics Detectives Thomas Rodriguez and John Galie.

Saturday night, a marijuana-growing operation at 2212 Michigan Ave. was shut down by officers responding to a call of a burglary in progress, police said.

Detectives found 77 marijuana plants in the basement and collected additional plants in the attic. DalPorto said they also found a "grow room" and plants in the process of drying.

"There's been no arrest made yet, but the investigation is continuing," he said of the marijuana operation.