City police and members of the region’s drug enforcement task force have charged 12 local people with drug and conspiracy counts for alleged cocaine and marijuana dealing in the city over the past five months. Among those charged is David C. Forbes of Ballston Spa, the highway superintendent for the town of Milton.
The arrests, which were announced Thursday, stem from the investigation of street-level trafficking of illegal drugs, mainly cocaine, in the city’s downtown this summer and fall, said Lt. Gregory Veitch, a police department spokesman.
“The focus was on the downtown area,” Veitch said, though some of the arrests were made in other parts of the city.
Veitch said the cocaine came from New York City.
The investigation started in August during street level drug enforcement activities conducted by the department’s Special Investigations Unit, using money from a state crime impact grant. Based on information gathered during the initial street level investigations, city police asked for help from the Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force in Albany.
Task force agents and city investigators, in cooperation with the office of Saratoga County District Attorney James A. Murphy III, conducted the investigation through the fall and began making arrests related to the case in recent weeks.
More than two ounces of powder cocaine, five pounds of marijuana and one vehicle were seized as a result of the investigation, police said in a statement.
Many of those arrested have been charged with felony counts of fourth-degree conspiracy for their alleged involvement in drug trafficking. Most of the arrests involve relatively small amounts of powder cocaine because the investigation was conducted at the street level.
City police Inv. John Catone said many of the arrests were made over the past week.
Robert K. Allen, 43, of County Route 75, Mechanicville, was described by police as a primary suspect in the investigation. Allen was charged with three counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance and criminal possession of a controlled substance (cocaine). He was arraigned Thursday before City Court Judge Jeffrey Wait and taken to Saratoga County jail without bail.
Thomas R. Kopach, 52, of Kayderossas Drive, Ballston Spa, was charged with two counts each of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and criminal possession of a controlled substance. Meanwhile, Jose A. Cruz, 39, of Lincoln Avenue, Saratoga Springs, was charged with two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.
The following suspects have each been charged with fourth-degree conspiracy, a felony, alleging they conspired to sell or purchase drugs:
• Edward Fitzgerald, 59, of Union Avenue. Saratoga Springs.
• Heather Chittenden, 38, of Cook Circle, Gansevoort.
• Thomas W. Williams, 40, of Madison Avenue, Saratoga Springs.
• April L. Allen, 34, of County Route 75, Mechanicville.
• Susan M. Forbes, 41, of Casino Drive, Saratoga Springs.
• Deborah M. Risso, 50, of Northern Pines Road. Wilton.
• Paul M. Fasulo, 68, of Sunrise Drive, Saratoga Springs.
• Thomas J. Bowe, 44, of Russell Road. Schuylerville.
• David C. Forbes, 43, of Lee Street, Ballston Spa.
Police believe the arrests will have a significant impact in drug trafficking activity in the downtown area in the short term.
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