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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Village of Hamburg Drug Bust

The Village of Hamburg took center stage in a major drug bust.  As reported by all major news outlets, seven people were arrested for flooding the community with cocaine and cocaine related substances.    The Town of Hamburg Police,  New York State Police, the Erie County DA's office and other notable law enforcement agencies worked in unison to catch the culprits and hopefully cut off one source of drugs in the community.  Four of those arrested resided on the lovely suburban thorofare- Long Avenue- in downtown Village of Hamburg.  
So, one must ask, where were the Village of Hamburg Police in this major drug bust?    The taxpayers of the Village of Hamburg pay the salaries and benefits of at least 7 police officers, 1 detective, 3 lieutenants, 1 captain, and 1 chief of police.    The home on Long Avenue, which was the epicenter of the drug bust sits directly behind the Village Police Headquarters at 100 Main Street, and is an approximate 0.2 mile walk.  
Surely, the 13 officers of the law must've seen something strange going on right under their own noses?   The taxpayers should re-think the existence of a Village Police force- it seems to be a significant tax payer expense, when a drug house can exist for several years in the back yard of the police station. And, when the source of drugs is discovered, the Village Police are no where to be found.  

Concerned Hamburger respects the work of police officers and the terrible situations they often find themselves in to protect the public.  And certainly one should not consider any sum of money more important than the safety of the community and the officers.  However, it seems that the good people of Hamburg might get more bang for their buck if a reorganization of law enforcement in Hamburg were to take place.    Just the salaries of the Village Police are in excess of $1.2 million dollars.  This does not include benefits and the administrative support of the officers.  

Why not merge the Village of Hamburg Police with the Town of Hamburg Police? 
According to SeeThroughNY, the reported salaries of each of the Village of Hamburg Police force are as follows: 

  • Dennis G. Gleason, Chief of Police  $134,843
  • Michael C. Melisz, Captain               $110,315
  • Joseph G. Wittmeyer,  Lieutenant    $109,635
  • Richard A. Schara,   Lieutenant       $102,653
  • Kevin Haberman,  Lieutenant           $107,089
  • Matthew H. Cullen, Detective            $97,815
  • Sean P. Gallagher, Officer                 $96,073
  • Karen J. Ruh, Officer                         $92,181
  • Eric D. Krycia, Officer                        $93,329
  • Anthony M. Caber, Officer                 $88,911
  • William G. Travis, Officer                   $85,368
  • Ethan F. Rog, Officer                         $81,102
  • John R. Keem III, Officer                   $40,783 

  • As reported on YNN..... 
    HAMBURG, N.Y. -- Complaints originating in a quiet Hamburg neighborhood and bars and restaurants throughout the village helped lead to seven alleged drug dealers' arrests on Friday. The case had nothing to do with opioids.
    "There are other drug dealers out there, peddling poison to our community," said Acting Erie County District Attorney Michael Flaherty.
    In this case, it was powder and crack cocaine.
    Seven people were arrested:
    • Aaron Carroll, Nicholas Hubble, and Joshua Taylor, all 25 years old
    • Kelly Hosken, 24
    • Bradley Draudt, 35
    • Merneptah Sealy, 33
    • and Devin Ford, 24
    The State Police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team helped local narcotics units rack up 12 undercover buys.
    "Their officers are more known to the suspects, so they can't go in an undercover capacity. We help, we come in," said Lt. Kevin Reyes with NYSP's CNET.
    Flaherty said the arrests are the results of four investigations, one of which dates back to 2013.
    "It takes awhile to develop the leads, to vet the leads, to get the undercover officer in to make the purchase, and then bring that into us for evaluation and present it to a grand jury," said Flaherty of the length of the investigations.
    Four of the suspects lived together on Long Avenue. Officials say that it's not believed that their neighbors were in any danger as a result of the cocaine operation, but people who live nearby did tell authorities that they noticed a lot of foot traffic in the area.
    "We got complaints from people just trying to have a pleasant evening in a bar or in a restaurant that these people were doing this. The Village of Hamburg is not an environment where people like that are going to be tolerated," said Hamburg Police Chief Gregory Wickett.
    If convicted, the suspects could face up to nine years in prison.
    The suspects are charged with third degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and third degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. All were arraigned and are expected to appear in court at later dates.


    Anonymous said...

    The NOW Pizza Place NEXT TO THE POLICE was broken into recently. Wait, I didn't think there was a drug problem in Hamburg? This must be a mistake- NOT HAMBURG.

    Anonymous said...

    and if you drive thru hamburg down main street going in to boston state you are almost always going to see a village cop car sitting in the cops drive way, running for hours at a time thru out the day. getting paid to sit at home and watch tv, nice dollars spend

    Anonymous said...


    Anonymous said...

    Or the village judge parked across the street in the gas station lot?