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If you’re going to send a text, it’s probably a good idea to know who is going to be on the receiving end of your message.

Two alleged Dunkirk heroin dealers now sitting in the Erie County Holding Center learned that lesson Thursday afternoon.

Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard said his narcotics detectives, under the command of Senior Detective Alan Rozansky, arrested Ricardo Maldonado, 34, of Columbus Street, Dunkirk and Nicholas E. Moore, 24, of Brigham Road, Dunkirk, during a fake heroin buy set up for 5:15 p.m. Thursday at South Division and Ellicott streets near the sheriff’s narcotics offices.

The sheriff said the case began Wednesday when an Amherst couple contacted the Sheriff’s Office complaining about getting cell phone texts from one or more individuals they did not know who used words such as “bundle,” which the sheriff said is street slang for an amount of heroin.

At the request of detectives, the Amherst couple contacted the drug-dealing “texter” using another cell phone. That new number belonged to one of the sheriff’s detectives and for two days Moore allegedly was dealing with that detective and setting up the Thursday afternoon deal, the sheriff said.

When the two men showed up, they were arrested and detectives seized five bundles of heroin, the sheriff said.

Maldonado is being held on criminal possession of a narcotic drug with intent to sell, a Class B felony with a possible 25-year prison term, and criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Moore is being held on a felony conspiracy charge.

Howard credited Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Police for assisting his narcotics detectives on the case.

“We appreciated working so closely with the suspects,” Howard said.

email: mgryta@buffnews.com