Twenty-one people were arrested, and police seized four guns, quantities of crack cocaine, heroin and crystal methamphetamine, and more than $42,000 in a series of raids in Riverside that started late last week and ended Wednesday night, police and city officials announced Thursday.
Holding a news conference at the corner of Philadelphia and Ontario streets to draw attention to the operation, dubbed “Riverside Renewal,” the officials said they were putting other drug dealers on notice that their actions will not be tolerated.
Twenty-five warrants were carried that resulted in the seizures.
Officials said that the raids were a coordinated effort and that more are coming.
“The raids are the result of tips and complaints mainly from residents to the city’s 311 Call and Resolution Center and the Tipcall Line,” Mayor Byron W. Brown said.
Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda added, “Some of the individuals arrested had ties to gangs.”
About 300 prescription painkillers and two pounds of marijuana were also seized from homes in Riverside and the nearby Black Rock section.
Guns seized were a 9 mm handgun, two sawed-off shotguns and a shotgun.
SWAT teams from the Sheriff’s Office, Amherst Police Department and Buffalo led the raids, which began May 23.
In illustrating the cooperation among police agencies, Chief of Detectives Dennis J. Richards pointed out that while the news conference was happening, Buffalo narcotics detectives and Lackawanna detectives were in the process of conducting a second day of joint raids on the city’s East and South sides.
“The information for those raids was developed by Lackawanna police and shows the level of cooperation between law enforcement agencies in Western New York,” Richards said.
North District Council Member Joseph Golombek Jr. was also present at the news conference and offered thanks to law enforcement on behalf of his constituents in Riverside and Black Rock.
Dale M. Kasprzyk, head agent of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s Buffalo office, and Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard also attended the news conference.
The Police Department’s Tipcall Line is 847-2255.