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Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard Friday night credited help from the community with leading to the arrest of a 44-year-old Cheektowaga man with alleged ties to a Mexican drug cartel.

Ronald Klos was arrested and a kilo of cocaine and nearly $6,000 in rolls of $100, $50 and $20 bills was seized from his house at 1259 French Road.

Speaking at a Friday night press conference, Howard and Senior Detective Alan Rozansky, chief of the Narcotics Bureau, said detectives had been investigating the supposed “lone wolf” cocaine dealer for months following a complaint by neighbors. They said the case shows that drugs are a countywide problem.

Klos was charged with first-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal possession of narcotics with intent to sell and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia. He was taken to the Erie County Holding Center.

Klos is expected to be arraigned today in Cheektowaga Town Court. Klos, who told detectives he was unemployed, cannot seek bail until he is brought to Erie County Court.

Howard and Rozansky said they will try to have him held without bail pending trial.

Narcotics detectives followed Klos as he reportedly made a drug-selling trip to the Marilla area early Friday afternoon. Rozansky and Narcotics Detectives Timothy F. Donovan, Daniel J. Granville, Timothy F. Carney, John Graham and Warren Hawthorn confronted Klos at his French Road home about 5:15 p.m. and under a search warrant signed earlier in the day by Erie County Judge Kenneth F. Case, seized the alleged cocaine, cash, a digital scale and drug “cutting” products.

Rozansky said investigators know Klos would periodically go to Mexico to pay a drug cartel about $40,000 per kilo of pure cocaine, buying two to three kilos per trip, and return to Cheektowaga to cut the cocaine and sell it in local bars and restaurants primarily in the Wales-Elma area where he reportedly had a “brisk business.”

Howard said the arrest shows “there’s no neighborhood that can escape” drug problems.

Rozansky said Cheektowaga police played a major role in tracking Klos in recent months.

email: mgryta@buffnews.com