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More arrests expected after Tuesday’s crack cocaine bust in Ogdensburg

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More arrests are expected in connection with four Buffalo-area men charged in December for operating a crack cocaine ring in the Ogdensburg, city police said Wednesday.

Four city residents were rounded up by city police and the St. Lawrence County Drug Task Force and indicted Tuesday in county court for dealing crack cocaine and prescription narcotic painkillers in the city. Police said three of those charged, including a New York City man arrested outside of Belmont Courts on a parole violation, are connected with the Buffalo-based crack ring.

The arrests are the culmination of an ongoing investigation into crack cocaine trafficking in the city.

Ogdensburg Police Detective Daniel F. Mousaw said Wednesday that more and more of the crack being sold the city originates from metropolitan areas such as Buffalo, New York City, Rochester, and Watertown.

“It’s primarily brought from other areas and sold here, mostly because the street value is higher up here,” he said. “Their reason for coming here is the greater monetary gain from their sales.”

Mr. Mousaw said a gram of crack cocaine might sell for $100 here and for between $25 and $30 in big cities.

Mr. Mousaw said he couldn’t speculate on the exact reason why the price or demand is so high in Ogdensburg, but the recent increase in arrests connected to crack cocaine trafficking indicate the problem is getting worse.

“It’s a never-ending cycle,” he said. “Crack cocaine seems to be the most prevalent drug here in Ogdensburg. The majority of narcotic arrests are crack cocaine arrests.”

So far seven people have been arrested in the city in connection with the Buffalo drug trafficking ring.

On Tuesday, city police and members of the St. Lawrence County Drug Task Force arrested Kelly J. Ellard-Staton, 37, of 125 Belmont Courts, David A. Hazelton, 37, of 1062 Washington St., Jeffrey W. Brenno, 56, of 212 Linden Lane, and Edwin G. Roach Jr., 53, of 511 Knox St. City police said Ms. Ellard-Staton was charged with four counts each of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Mr. Hazelton and Mr. Roach were both charged with two counts each of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Mr. Roach was additionally charged with one count each of fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and fifth-degree possession, which were the same charges brought against Mr. Brenno.

Ms. Ellard-Staton and Mr. Hazelton are accused of dealing crack cocaine. Mr. Roach and Mr. Brenno were charged for allegedly selling Vicodin, a prescription narcotic painkiller.

Arrested Tuesday evening as part of the police drug sweep and charged with three counts each of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance was Karl G. Dimock, 44, no fixed address.

He is accused of selling crack cocaine.

Also arrested Tuesday on a parole violation was Anthony “Q” Hester, 24, of Brooklyn. Although Mr. Hester was not specifically targeted in Tuesday’s raid, police said he, Ms. Ellard-Staton and Mr. Hazelton are connected to the four Buffalo men arrested in December for allegedly dealing crack cocaine. They are Charles J.H. Caviness, 24; Eldridge Gossom, 25; Andre L. Wilson, 40; and Tige K. Smith Jr., 24. All four were charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance following a raid by city police on an apartment at 325 Belmont Courts. All four have entered not guilty pleas to the charges in county court.

While the ring was based out of Belmont Courts, Mr. Mousaw said that criminal drug use and sales aren’t specific to one area of the city.

“It’s all over,” he said.

Mr. Mousaw said he expects more arrests in the coming weeks.

County Drug Task Force members involved in Tuesday’s raid were from the county Sheriff’s Office and Gouverneur and Canton police departments. State police also assisted.

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