Four people were arrested Thursday afternoon to cap a month-long investigation into prescription drug sales in the village of Scotia.
Police said Melvin Howenstein, 64, of 201 Fifth St. in Scotia, was selling painkillers and anti-depressants and had an extensive network of customers. After the investigation by village police and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, Howenstein was charged with third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, as was William Duguerre, 75, of 1 Trion Ave., Glenville.
In addition, Thomas Bartholomew, 45, of 216 Gifford Road, Schenectady, and Phillip Fitzpatrick, 44, of San Diego, were each charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, accused of illegally having prescription drugs.
Howenstein, Duguerre and Fitzpatrick were arraigned in Scotia Village Court and sent to the Schenectady County jail, while Bartholomew was released on an appearance ticket.
A large amount of prescription drugs and hallucinogens was seized, along with nearly $700 in cash.
“Being a small community, we almost always find out about this type of criminal activity," village Police Chief Pete Frisoni said. "When we do, we target those involved using all available resources, including assistance from our local, state and federal law enforcement partners.”