Operation Clean Sweep nets 101
A total of 101 people are headed to Ulster County Court after multiple law enforcement agencies joined forces for Operation Clean Sweep. YNN's John Wagner tells us how it all got started and what's next for those who were arrested.
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KINGSTON, N.Y. -- After arresting suspected members of the Bloods gang in connection with the shooting death of Charles King Jr., the Kingston Police and District Attorney's office learned new members were preparing take their place.
The Ulster County Sheriff's office, the State Police and a myriad of other police departments joined Operation Clean Sweep.
"Cooperation of agencies working together is the only way you can combat this problem. No one agency can do it themselves with today's financial situations," said Ulster County Undersheriff Frank Faluotico Jr.
Officials say undercover officers located drug dealers and other suspected gang members, but treaded lightly to keep from tipping anyone off, planning Saturday's early morning raid for more than a month.
"The criminal community communicates just like anybody else. They use social media, they use everything to their advantage" Faluotico said.
"People involved in the drug trade are very wary. It takes a long time to put information and people in place where they are trusted enough to conduct these types of transactions," said Ulster County District Attorney Holley Carnright.
All 101 suspects have now been arraigned at Ulster County Court. The majority were thrown into jail without bail. And the rest were set anywhere from $2,500 to more than $40,000, depending on their criminal records.
"It's important to realize that a lot of these guys are involved in a lot more than just narcotics activity. They were in custody for parole violations, violent assaults, robberies, weapon possessions," said Kingston Police Detective Eric Van Allen.
The clean sweep rounded up nearly all the wanted suspects, but ten are still at large.
"We're still working our leads on it and we're still going to conduct the investigation and make sure everyone gets arrested," Kingston Police Detective Eric Paulding said.