CANTON, N.Y. (WWNY) - A massive drug sweep in May was just the start of what law enforcement officials called “Operation Drop.”
The St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office announced that a second police action related to Operation Drop happened during the day Monday.
The Sheriff’s Office said an 80 count indictment was issued against 44 people.
Eighteen suspected drug dealers were rounded up in the May 6 drug sweep that involved over 200 law enforcement officers and two helicopters.
Heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine seized in the May raids had a combined street value of $400,000, police said at the time.
Of the people arrested in May, eight were from St. Lawrence County, one was from Jefferson County, and the rest were from Jersey City, New Jersey.
In stage two on Monday, more than a dozen suspects from Massena were named in indictments. In all, 29 county residents were charged. More drug suppliers from New Jersey were also named.
“We were concerned about the way the organization was progressing. And some concerns we had about the safety of our citizens here in St. Lawrence County,” said St. Lawrence County District Attorney Gary Pasqua.
Officials said the drug ring, affiliated with the notorious Bloods street gang, trafficked drugs between Jersey City and St. Lawrence County. In a statement, they said the Bloods are distributing heroin laced with fentanyl, crack cocaine and powder cocaine.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of drugs have been seized. Also more than $80,000 in cash.
Monday’s second stage of “Operation Drop” focused on local residents dealing, or helping with, illegal drugs, according to St. Lawrence County Sheriff Brooks Bigwarfe.
“This second stage really focuses on our local individuals that are conspiring to bring other individuals who bring in illegal drugs, dangerous illegal drugs, into our county.” Bigwarfe said.
As of late Monday afternoon, 24 suspects were still being sought - expect a steady flow of defendants at the St. Lawrence County Courthouse for arraignments in coming weeks.