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Fifteen arrested in drug task force investigation

PLATTSBURGH Authorities have rounded up 15 people on drug charges following a joint investigation by members of the Adirondack Drug Task Force. Officials from the New York State Police, Clinton County Sheriff's Department, Plattsburgh City Police Department, Drug Enforcement Administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Border Patrol joined forces during an early morning drug sweep Dec. 7 to make arrests across the county. According to Plattsburgh City Police Chief Desmond J. Racicot during a statement made following the arrests, the arrests stem from more than a year of extensive drug investigation efforts by the task force. "This is just another chapter in a continuing saga," said Chief Racicot, who added the task force anticipates further arrests to be made. Those arrested include: Josh Gonzalez, 24, Rouses Point, on three counts of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and a violation of a City Court bench warrant for disorderly conduct. Gonzalez was remanded to Clinton County Jail on $2,500 cash bail or $5,000 bond. Julius Elmore, 30, Plattsburgh, on one count of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Elmore was being held at the county jail on unrelated charges, and faces a $25,000 cash bail or $50,000 bond for his latest arrest. Gary Desir, 21, Plattsburgh, on two counts of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal sale of a controlled substance in or near school grounds. Desir was jailed on $20,000 cash or $40,000 bond. Sue Banker, 39, Plattsburgh, on one count of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Banker was jailed on $500 cash bail or $1,000 bond. William Douglas, 43, Plattsburgh, on two counts of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Douglas was jailed on $15,000 cash bail or $30,000 bond. Gennie Douglas, 23, Plattsburgh, on two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance and two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. She was jailed on $5,000 cash bail or $10,000 bond. Gabriel Laramie, 29, Plattsburgh, on one count of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Laramie was jailed on $5,000 cash bail or $10,000 bond. Jacob Parish, 24, Keeseville, on one count of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Parish was jailed on $5,000 cash bail or $10,000 bond. Teri Lynn Garrow, 35, Plattsburgh, on two counts of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Garrow was jailed on $10,000 cash bail or $20,000 bond. Ernest Guerin, 35, Mooers, on one count of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Guerin was jailed on $500 cash bail or $1,000 bond. Richard Birmingham, 21, Ozone Park, on one count of fourth-degree criminal sale of marijuana. Michael Lacy, 24, Plattsburgh, on one count of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Ronald Rivers, 55, Plattsburgh, on two counts of fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and two counts of fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Rivers was jailed on $5,000 cash bail or $10,000 bond. Shawn Vargas, 24, Plattsburgh, on one count of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Mindy D. Osborne, 28, Plattsburgh, on one count of attempted third-degree assault. Osborne was arrested on a separate bench warrant during the arrest of other subjects. The charges against the aforementioned defendants are all Class B felonies, with the exception of the charges against Birmingham and Osborne, both of which are misdemeanors. Three of the defendants, said Chief Racicot, may be recognized by the public, having recently appeared in local headlines in relation to other offenses. Elmore was arrested Oct. 18 when task force officials found heroin hidden in the car seat of his one-week-old daughter. In addition to drug possession charges lodged from that arrest, Elmore was charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Lacy was already in police custody when the drug charges were filed against him. He is one of four men facing felony charges stemming from an Oct. 29 armed robbery at Adirondack Gardens apartments. Desir was the victim of a stabbing outside Tabu Nightclub on Margaret Street during the early hours of Nov. 18. He underwent surgery at CVPH Medical Center and was subsequently released. With the 15 suspects behind now facing serious charges, authorities are continuing their investigation which includes locating five additional suspects. The remaining suspects include: Shane Allen, 38, wanted on two counts of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Brandon Williams, 23, wanted on three counts of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, three counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal sale of a controlled substance in or near school grounds. Osborn Habet, 32, wanted on two counts of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, two counts and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal sale of a controlled substance in or near school grounds. Richard Harriman Jr., 44, wanted on three counts of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and three counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Johnny Davis, 23, wanted on third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance. According to Capt. Robert S. LaFountain, with the State Police Troop B Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the five suspects which remain at large may or may not still be within Clinton County, said Capt. LaFountain, though each were maintaining local residences prior to the drug sweep. The drugs involved in the charges against the defendants range from heroin to crack cocaine, powdered cocaine and marijuana. Chief Racicot reported the drugs appear to be coming from the New York City area where they may be purchased for a fraction of their street value in the North Country. "The drug problem is creating other problems for us," said Chief Racicot. "We've had robberies, we've had deaths related to drug overdoses, we've had burglaries. When we have these drug issues all these other issues can increase. We've seen it." "The impact on the communities is significant," concurred Capt. LaFountain. "Working as a team, in a coordinated fashion, we are doing our best to address these issues, to identify, investigate and apprehend those responsible for the criminal activity in our communities." Capt. LaFountain further remarked there is a "direct correlation between drug trafficking, drug abuse and the other criminal activity" being experienced in the North Country and into Vermont. "If we take these people off the street, that's going to have a direct impact on other crimes," said Capt. LaFountain. "If they think they're going to continue to deal drugs in this region and not be apprehended, they're sorely mistaken," said Capt. LaFountain. "We will locate them, we will identify them, we will investigate them and the Clinton County District Attorney's Office is going to prosecute them." "They can run, but they can't hide for long," he added. Anyone with information regarding the five suspects which remain at large or the 15 suspects already in custody is urged to contact their local police department, the Clinton County Sheriff's Department or the New York State Police. Chief Racicot urges anyone with knowledge of the whereabouts of the five fugitives not to attempt to apprehend the suspects themselves. In addition to external police agencies, the Adirondack Drug Task Force also includes the efforts of the Clinton County District Attorney's Office and Plattsburgh State University Police.

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