A Cheektowaga man was arrested Friday following two raids led by the Erie County Sheriff's Narcotics Unit resulting in the seizure of about 8 ounces of heroin.
Eddie Fields, 45, of William Street was charged with felony possession of a controlled substance and felony intent to sell narcotics, said Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard, during a news conference at the Sheriff's Office. Late Friday morning, deputies, accompanied by U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency agents and Cheektowaga police raided a residence in the Williamstowne Village Senior Apartment, 2940 William St,. on a warrant signed by Erie County Judge Kenneth Case.
"As a result of the continuing-to-increase number of opiate deaths across Erie County, this case was given a high priority," Howard said.
During the search, deputies, officers and federal agents discovered more than 200 grams of heroin hidden in drink containers, along with drug paraphernalia, said Howard, adding the stash of heroin equaled about 10,000 individual doses, with a street value of about $100,000.
Later Friday, deputies, federal agents and officers from the Buffalo Police Department raided a second residence connected to Fields on Pine Street in Buffalo. There, they recovered two loaded .45-caliber handguns, one that was stolen in Charlotte, N.C., where Fields had lived. Authorities also seized more heroin. Howard said Fields may face additional charges stemming from the second raid, pending results of laboratory tests on the handguns.
The raids come after several months of investigation by the Sheriff's Office, as well as federal and local law enforcement agencies.
Fields has two prior felony convictions and spent 10 years in prison. While in federal prison, Fields was stabbed by another inmate, which left him paralyzed and in a wheelchair, Howard added.
The suspect is in Erie County Holding Center, where he was being held pending arraignment Saturday.
"This just shows what a great job in collaboration law enforcement is doing throughout Western New York to combat the opioid problem," said Erie County District Attorney John Flynn, who joined Howard at the news conference.
Flynn said the raid is significant because it ensures at least 10,000 individual doses of heroin have been taken off the streets.
"Think about, perhaps, how many lives we just saved, potentially with getting these individual doses off the street, because it's these individual doses that people are taking (and) ultimately causing their deaths in some cases," Flynn said.