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22 arrested on 159 drug charges in capital region drug sweep

Authorities rounded up 22 persons recently in the Albany area and charged them with over 150 drug counts. The defendants, who range in age from 16 to 45, face drug charges connected to the activities of a drug ring that allegedly sold cocaine and heroin in Albany County and several nearby counties. The sweep was coordinated by the New York Attorney General's Organized Crime Task Force (OCTF).       

Other agencies included the Albany Police Department and the New York State Police. Authorities stated that the arrests were the result of a 10-month-long investigation. The targets allegedly comprised two loosely affiliated drug rings, with one ring peddling cocaine and the other heroin, according to police. It is asserted that the cocaine was obtained from sources in Brooklyn, Queens and Connecticut, and the heroin came in from New Jersey.

It is reported that the one ring had a boss and five re-sellers and the other a separate leader with nine re-sellers. If that is proved to be true, these drug activities may possibly be called significant as a partial retail supply network for the capital region. However, based on the available allegations, it does not appear to qualify as a major source of cocaine and heroin drug trafficking in New York State or even in the region.

Generally, the level of involvement of each suspect arrested in a drug sweep will vary greatly. Some may be innocent, and others may be involved only minimally. If a defendant's participation was of short duration and the activity was very limited, and if he or she has no prior criminal record, defense counsel may be able to negotiate a sentence of probation without the need for incarceration. This is a possible outcome to drug charges in certain circumstances, as provided for by New York law.

Source:, "Several arrested in connection with drug ring", March 19, 2015

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