City police Friday announced the arrest of nine people in connection with a marijuana distribution and sales ring that brought between 50 and 75 pounds of marijuana from Canada through the city each week.
Lt. Greg Veitch of the city Police Department said the investigation by city police and the Capital District Drug Enforcement Task Force started with a routine traffic stop last November.
Christopher Redding, 28, of Massena, was arrested on drug possession charges, and that same night, city police executed a search warrant at a house on Lincoln Avenue and discovered information indicating a large-scale marijuana distribution ring was operating in Saratoga Springs and throughout the Capital District, Veitch said.
City police contacted the federal Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force and the investigation continued with the identification of suspects involved in trafficking marijuana from Canada. Large quantities of marijuana were being distributed, including to Albany, Troy, and Clifton Park.
Veitch said the large quantity of drugs came through Saratoga Springs each week but may have been earmarked for other cities. “Not all [the marijuana] was destined for Saratoga Springs,” he said.
During the investigation, police were able to intercept more than 50 pounds of marijuana destined for Saratoga Springs and the greater Capital Region and seize tens of thousands of dollars in proceeds from drug sales. The nine arrests were made over the past three months.
Those arrested include Aaron Vice, 32, of Massena, and Matthew Dillon, 29, of Fort Covington, who were identified as the drug ring organizers. They were both charged in U.S. District Court in Albany with one count each of possession with intent to distribute more than 50 kilograms of marijuana and conspiracy to distribute more than 50 kilograms of marijuana.
The others were arrested over the past months on a variety of drug possession and distribution charges, with their cases pending in local courts. They include: John Snow, 27, of Hogansburg; Margaret Jacobs, 34, of Fort Covington; Austin Thompson, 18, of Akwesane, Canada; Kyle MacDuff, 22, of Cohoes; Charles Bushey, 29, of Troy; Danielle Bevins, 32, of Plattsburgh; and Danny Kelley, 57, of Massena.
The last two arrests were made Thursday, when Bevins and Kelley surrendered to Saratoga Springs police. All will be prosecuted by Saratoga County District Attorney James A. Murphy III’s office, with the exception of Vice and Dillon, who are facing federal drug charges, according to city police.