Share this article

print logo

Man with a violent past of drug dealing and homicide is targeted in Falls

NIAGARA FALLS – A man with a “very lengthy and violent criminal history” was among a number of alleged drug dealers taken off the streets in the past two days by city narcotics detectives with help from the city’s Emergency Response Team and agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Brian C. Young, 38, of Bedell Road, Grand Island, was found with a large amount of powder cocaine and cash Tuesday night and will face federal charges of possession with intent to distribute and federal charges of distributing 50 or more grams of cocaine, investigators said.

Young is a former Niagara Falls resident who still did a lot of his drug operations in the city, according to Narcotics Detective Capt. David LeGault.

“We had been surveilling him for a long time. This man had a very lengthy and violent criminal history,” LeGault said. “Because of his violent criminal history, when we tried to stop him we were really concerned that something violent would occur. The DEA and their manpower was very helpful in assisting us.”

Young was stopped in his vehicle at 6 p.m. on C Street and taken into custody “without incident,” he said. DEA agents, with assistance from Niagara Falls detectives and the city Emergency Response Team, conducted a raid on Young’s Grand Island apartment at 9:30 p.m. and seized what they said was a large amount of cash, packaging materials and digital scales.

In the past, Young had been sentenced to 15 years in prison for his role in the death of a basketball player at a tournament at the Niagara Falls Boys and Girls Club in 1991. The victim, Lloyd Newton, 19, was struck in the back by a metal table leg thrown deliberately by Young during a melee at the end of the championship game. Newton, who suffered a punctured lung and severed artery, died on the way to a hospital.

In 2007, Young was charged by the state attorney general’s Organized Crime Task Force as being the leader of a cocaine sales operation in the city.

In another arrest just before 7 p.m. Tuesday, narcotics detectives, the ERT and ATF agents conducted a raid in the 2900 block of Linwood Avenue after receiving numerous complaints in the neighborhood of constant traffic and suspected marijuana drug sales there, said LeGault.

Christopher R. Stevens, 22, of that address, was found in possession of marijuana and a small number of marijuana plants, police said. He was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and growing cannabis.

During the search, Stevens’ father, Timothy E. Hunt, 41, of the same address, also was found with marijuana and charged with unlawful possession.

On Monday, a Town of Niagara man with a history of drug sales was charged after he was found on the street dealing drugs, investigators said.

Jonathan D. Bersani, 21, of Miller Road, was observed selling crack cocaine in a hand-to-hand transaction at 10th Street and Niagara Avenue at 5 p.m. Monday, according to Detective Thomas Rodriguez.

Bersani was found carrying a digital scale and 5.5 grams of crack cocaine, including the bag he had sold and a larger bag he had tried to conceal on his person, which contained three smaller bags packaged for sale, Rodriguez said.

Bersani was charged with third- and fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, tampering with evidence and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Jonathan H. Schumacher, 30, of Nash Road, North Tonawanda, was observed taking the crack cocaine from Bersani and was charged with seventh-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance. The arrest was conducted by the Niagara Falls Police Narcotics Unit and ATF agents.