UTICA, NY (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) — Several locations in the Utica area had search warrants executed against them over the past week for narcotics charges, as well as the sale of untaxed cigarettes and many other drug-related charges, according to an announcement by the Oneida County District Attorney’s office on Thursday, October 19.
The search warrants concluded a five-month investigation by several local, state and national agencies, including the New Hartford Police Department, the New York State Office of Cannabis Management and the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
“The sale of illegal flavored vapes, marijuana and untaxed cigarettes will not be tolerated in Oneida County,” Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente said in a statement. “We have been working diligently to identify the establishments who are breaking the law and hold them accountable. I commend the District Attorney’s Office, local law enforcement agencies and our Department of Health for their roles in this round of raids that shut down this criminal activity.”
In all, nine search warrants were executed on eight shops — one in Yorkville, one in New Hartford and six in the City of Utica — and one residence on Ironwood Road in the Village of New Hartford. According to New Hartford Police Department Chief Ron Fontaine, several of the cannabis packages seized from one store — Huff N Puff on Genesee Street in New Hartford — were field tested and came back positive for the presence of fentanyl.
Also seized in the execution of the search warrants were the following:
- 1,790 packs of untaxed cigarettes,
- $31,000 in cash,
- 442 packages of cannabis,
- 716 packages of concentrated cannabis, and
- 125 packages of cannabis edibles.
In addition, members of the Oneida County Health Department seized 7,469 packages of flavored nicotine vape products. According to the District Attorney’s office, those carry a maximum civil penalty of over $746,000.
All names are being withheld pending further action by the Oneida County Grand Jury and the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office.