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Ti residents arrested in drug sweep

TICONDEROGA-The Essex County Sheriff's Department, New York State Police, Ticonderoga Police Department and Lake Placid Police Department joined forces in a drug sweep March 9, resulting in 11 arrests.

State Police Public Information Officer Lieutenant Charles Potthast said the arrests followed a year-long investigation, involving mostly prescription drugs such as hydrocodone, Darvocet, oxycodone, fentanyl and Klonopin, purchased with Medicaid or Medicare prescription benefits.

Some of the alleged dealers face charges in connection with sale or possession of heroin and cocaine.

Felony charges were lodged against nine Ticonderoga residents and two Elizabethtown people.

Charged were:

- George J. Riper Jr., 61, of Ticonderoga, with two counts of fourth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and two counts of fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

- Penny M. Bennett, 43, of Ticonderoga, with two counts of fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and two counts of fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

- William R. Brown, 49, of Ticonderoga, with fourth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

- Christine H. Brown, 49, of Ticonderoga, with fourth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

- James T. Blanchard, 41, of Ticonderoga, with third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, a felony, and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

- Brianna K. Ives, 21, of Ticonderoga, with third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

- Stacie A. Bush, 32, of Ticonderoga, with fourth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance.

- Shirley E. Church, 41, of Elizabethtown, with fourth- and fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and two counts of fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

- Scott J. Bessette, 34, of Ticonderoga, with third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

- Kristopher M. Porter, 22, of Ticonderoga, with two counts of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

- Joseph R. Martinez, 50, of Elizabethtown, with third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

The investigation is being conducted by the Essex County Drug Task Force and Essex County District Attorney's Office.

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