BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Over $3.5 million in dangerous drugs have been taken off the streets of western New York in a historic drug bust. Now officials are alerting the public to how they seized the mass quantities of heroin, fentanyl and more.
U.S. Attorney William Hochul says authorities seized the largest combination drug bust in U.S. history in March after a multi-agency effort. The investigation, which started with a wire tap over a year ago, allowed police to seize drugs in Nebraska, California and western New York.
“Thanks to the hard work of the agents and agencies you see here at this podium behind me, we are able to report that we have not only stopped a particular drug trafficking organization that trafficked in heroin, fentanyl and cocaine simultaneously, but we have in fact recovered the largest quantities of drugs ever seized in the United States when you look at these three drug seizures combined,” Hochul said.
Hochul revealed police cracked open the case with the largest bust during the investigation in March on 98 Folger Street in south Buffalo. In all, police seized 40 kilograms of cocaine, eight kilograms of fentanyl and 17 kilograms of heroin. Police equated the seizure of fentanyl to removing 300 million hits of the drug from the streets. Hochul says in western New York alone, 90 people died from overdoses in the past year. Any link between the deaths and this trafficking could extend potential jail time for those arrested in the case.
“In this time of heightened concern regarding multiple overdose deaths in our community, the seizure of a trifecta of dangerous and potentially deadly drugs…is both highly significant and extremely good news for our area,” Hochul said.
Police say they arrested seven people in connection to the bust in March, but additional arrests are pending now. The traffickers allegedly wanted to distribute the drugs through all corners of western New York.
Western New Yorkers charged in the case are Troy Gillon, Darryl Williams, Maulana Lucas, Shirley Grigsby, Michael Mitchell and Trent Hamilton. Police also charged Herman Aguirre, a California man who they say headed up sourcing of the drugs.
An investigation into three potentially fake companies in California continues in the case. Police tracked the flow of $13 million in cash to the shell companies.