Heroin Dealers Indicted After Swat Team Raids

Modified: May 25, 2016 3:45pm

5/25/2016

DA Flaherty announces the indictments of heroin dealers.

Acting Erie County District Attorney Michael J. Flaherty, Jr., Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, BPD Commissioner Daniel Derenda, Hamburg Capt. Peter Dienes and the Erie County Sheriff’s Office announce a joint law enforcement effort has led to the indictment of seven accused drug dealers who were arrested in raids carried out by several area police SWAT teams.

Beginning February 6, the Buffalo Police Department Narcotics Unit began an undercover operation targeting street level heroin dealers throughout the City of Buffalo in an effort to combat the current heroin/opiate epidemic.  As a result of this operation, this unit was able to arrest and obtain multiple count indictment warrants against the following individuals:

            1.  24-year-old Eddie U. Thomas, 878 Prospect Ave.:  Subject sold heroin and fentanyl to an undercover detective  The current indictment charges Thomas with three counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree and three counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree.

            2. 34-year-old Latisa Harden, 91 Burgard Place:  Subject sold crack cocaine to an undercover detective. The current indictment charges Harden with three counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree and three counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree.

           3. 28-year-old Christopher Brown, 88 Carl St.:  Subject sold crack cocaine to an undercover detective.  The current indictment charges Brown with three counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree and three counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree.

           4. 31-year-old Reynaldo Castro-Guzman, AKA Aurelio Castro-Lopez, 283 French St.:  Subject sold heroin to an undercover detective.  The current indictment charges Castro-Guzman with two counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree and two counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree.

          5. 53-year-old Jorge Ortiz:  Subject sold heroin to an undercover detective. The current indictment charges Ortiz with three counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree and three counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree.  Ortiz has an extensive criminal record that includes one felony conviction for Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fifth Degree. Subject had 18 packets of heroin and 31 bags of crack cocaine on his person at the time of his arrest.

            6. 32-year-old Daniel Loster, 73 Manitoba St.:  Subject sold heroin to an undercover detective. The current indictment charges Loster with three counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree and three counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree.

            7. 22-year-old Joshua Negron, 506 Niagara St.:  Subject sold heroin to an undercover detective. The current indictment charges Negron with three counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree and three counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree.

All of the defendants, except Harden are still in jail. Approximately 1/2 ounce of heroin, 2 1/2 ounces of crack cocaine, two handguns and $2500 cash were recovered as a result of this operation in addition to the narcotics recovered during the undercover buys. 

“We cannot let up in this fight to stop the heroin epidemic that continues to grow every day,” says Acting DA Flaherty. “Our office is steadfast in our commitment to prosecute these poison peddlers to the fullest extent of the law.”

Acting DA Flaherty credits the following agencies for assisting the BPD Narcotics Unit in this roundup: BPD SWAT Team, the Town of Hamburg SWAT Team and the Erie County Sheriff's SWAT Team.

“I will continue to provide the resources and personnel necessary to combat heroin and other illegal drugs that have inflicted so much pain on families in our city, county and region,” said Mayor Byron W. Brown. “I thank the District Attorney’s Office, Buffalo Police Department, Erie County Sheriff’s Office and Hamburg Police for their tireless efforts to rid our streets of deadly drugs.”

Assistant District Attorney Paul J. Williams III is prosecuting these cases.

As are all persons accused of a crime, the defendants are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.