Fed agents, local police bust suspected meth ring
Jan 18, 2013 (The Buffalo News - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Buffalo SWAT team members and federal agents arrested a suspected West Side drug dealer this afternoon, completing a roundup that began early this morning in an attempt to put an end to a new methamphetamine ring that recently hit local streets.
SWAT team members at 1:20 p.m. discharged a flash-bang grenade into the front window of a second-floor apartment above the Brother Halal deli at 580 Niagara St., at the corner of Jersey Street.
The bang echoed throughout the neighborhood.
Agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Buffalo police then charged up a flight of stairs and burst into the residence, as suspected drug dealers tried to flush drugs down the toilet, authorities said.
"Even with a flash-bang grenade and a SWAT team heading upstairs they were able to make their way to the toilet and try to destroy drug evidence," said Dale M. Kasprzyk, agent in charge of the regional DEA office. "These guys are in urban warfare mode."
The roundup was part of a federal indictment, charging seven individuals with distributing methamphetamines and other controlled substances.
Arrested in the Niagara Street residence was Philip "Chino" Keomongkoun, 24.
The others arrested earlier today were identified as Steven "Steve-O" Bennett; Chandra Woods; Jessica Lopez; Malcolm Bull; Nikki Lillard; an Guy "Lamar" Burt, according to an indictment released by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joel L. Violanti.
Additional details will be released later this afternoon at a news conference.
The raids were carried out by DEA agents, Buffalo and Cheektowaga police, and Erie County sheriff's investigators.
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