The Saratogian’s online and front-page centerpiece story
morning pulls together piecemeal reporting that had been done since December
about local drug arrests.
The story is not over. But it was time for reporter Lucian
McCarty to put into context the otherwise disparate stories of what police are
doing to pick off drug traffickers in and around Saratoga Springs.
The first piece broke in last December as a more or less
routine story. A 47-year-old Milton man was arrested on a warrant that Saratoga
Springs police said was part of an ongoing investigation into cocaine and other
drug trafficking. He was charged with four felonies — two counts of
third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and two counts of third-degree
criminal possession of a controlled substance —and two counts of seventh-degree
criminal possession of a controlled substance, misdemeanors.
Over the next three months, a total of 18 people were
arrested in six raids in connection with drug trafficking as part of an
investigation that includes the Saratoga Springs police, neighboring law
enforcement entities, and the federal Drug Enforcement Agency.
What’s been seized, police say, includes an undisclosed
amount of cash, 245 bags of heroin, 4.5 ounces of cocaine, two ounces of crack
cocaine, three pounds of marijuana, and hydrocodone, oxycodone, suboxone and
liquid PCP worth between $30,000 and $40,000 on the street.
Serious quantities of drugs are passing through the city,
and some of it is staying right here. Police Lt. John Catone says drug addicts
drove a 33 percent increase in burglaries and 10 percent increase in larcenies
reported last year. To their credit, police are clearly trying to go after the
bigger fish. Members of the Saratoga Springs Police Department and the Saratoga
County District Attorney’s Office have the credentials of DEA agents, enabling
them to follow the trail of drugs and money, as McCarty reports. People with
information about drug dealing should call the SSPD’s anonymous line at
The use and sale of illegal drugs in Saratoga Springs and
surrounding locales could be the basis for a whole special report, which we’ve
discussed in the newsroom as a project to tackle. For now, The Saratogian had
the responsibility to begin to tell the bigger story by acknowledging the
efforts of police and tying together the arrests thus far.