Complaints about noise and antisocial behavior led to the discovery and seizure of heroin and fentanyl that police in New York say was packaged for sale. A 37-year-old man and a 36-year-old woman have been taken into custody in connection with the illegal drugs. The events that led to the narcotics bust unfolded in Lake Saranac in December 2022. The two suspects face a raft of criminal charges including felony counts of burglary and drug possession with the intent to distribute and misdemeanor counts of possessing drugs and drug paraphernalia.
The operation that resulted in the arrests and drug seizure began as an investigation into noisy disturbances coming from a residence on McClelland Street. During what is has been described as a lengthy investigation, police discovered that the two people living in the house frequently used drugs and did not own or rent the property. When the owner told police that he had not given the couple permission to occupy the home, officers from the Saranac Lake Police Department and New York State Police troopers assigned to a narcotics unit were dispatched to the scene.
In plain sight
According to police reports, officers noticed drug paraphernalia in plain sight when they entered the residence. Based on this observation, the officers and troopers obtained a search warrant. During the ensuing search, police allegedly discovered a small quantity of methamphetamine and two packages that each contained about 50 bags of a substance believed to be heroin. When the substance was tested, it was found to be heroin mixed with fentanyl. Police say the contents of each package would have been sold for about $2,000 on the street. After being booked on drug charges, the two suspects were transported to the Franklin County Jail.
Intent to distribute
The key arguments in this case are likely to center on whether the seized drugs were intended for distribution or the couple’s personal use. The quantity of drugs seized may be sufficient to warrant a possession with intent to sell charge, but proving intent could be difficult in this case. This is because media reports do not mention any cash or other evidence of ongoing drug distribution being found along with the controlled substances.