Twenty-four hours after Erie County law enforcement and lawmakers announced $2,500 rewards for turning in opioid dealers, Crime Stoppers Buffalo has received close to 70 tips.
"We really didn't know what to expect," said Chief Daniel Granville, who heads the Erie County Sheriff's narcotics unit on Tuesday. "I can tell you there has been great response."
On Monday, Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn led a 10 a.m. news conference to announce the new reward which aims to fight the opioid epidemic that has claimed more than 1,000 lives in the last five years in Erie County. Tipsters can make confidential calls to Crime Stoppers Buffalo at 716-867-6161 about opioid dealers. Information that leads to the arrest or indictment of opioid dealers will be rewarded up to $2,500.
Crime Stoppers got its first opioid tip within an hour and a half, Granville said. "Some people are calling and they're not specifically mentioning a reward but they feel they have a safe place to call. They know it's anonymous and feel there's some kind of action that'll be taken."
There's $45,000 in the fund – $20,000 set aside by Flynn's office from asset forfeiture money and $25,000 from Crime Stoppers. To contribute to the fund, donors can call the tip line or go to crimestoppersbuffalo.com.