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Salamanca pot-growing operation busted

A Town of Salamanca man and two women have been arrested on drug charges after authorities found a marijuana growing operation at his home.

Steven J. Little, 57, was arrested Friday after members of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force and the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at the home on Bucktooth Run Road.

The officers seized the marijuana growing equipment, several pounds of packaged marijuana, five grams of cocaine, pills, drug paraphernalia and an unspecified amount of U.S. currency.

Little and Holly R. Zawatski, 38, of Sawmill Run Road, were charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. They were arraigned and released on their own recognizance.

Nikol R. Stellabuto, 38, of the same Bucktooth Road address as Little, was charged with seventh-degree drug possession. She was released on an appearance ticket.

The arrests followed a months-long investigation by the Task Force, the Sheriff’s Office and State Police into drug sales and trafficking. The investigation is continuing, and more charges are pending, officials said.