Seven arrested in crystal meth drug bust
8/16/2012 (Updated 6:55:08 PM)(Source: Travis Eldridge)
KIRKWOOD -- Three Southern Tier residents are behind bars after a drug investigation that took more than a year.
"This investigation extends beyond the area of the Southern Tier," said John Duncan from the U.S. Attorney's Office. "This is where it ended, but where it started goes as far away as Mexico."
The investigation, called "Operation Crystal Ball," has seven people behind bars all arrested on federal charges of distributing crystal meth.
According to state and federal authorities, these individuals were involved with trafficking meth from Mexico, through Georgia and up into the New York/ Pennsylvania area. The investigation though, started here in the Southern Tier as a joint effort.
"It took us a while to really put the pieces together, we knew something larger was there," said Lt. Patrick Garey, of the State Police. "From that we started partnering with the Endicott police department, the DEA, and with the Susquehanna County District Attorney's office because we found there was a nexus between different investigations."
Throughout the investigation authorities recovered a pound and a half of meth, numerous firearms and over $30,000. An investigation of a drug ring that was bringing 2-3 pounds of meth to the Southern Tier every three weeks.
"It means a lot of methamphetamine of the streets, which has been brought up," said Garey. "At this point over the last 6 or 8 months there's been a tremendous amount of meth brought into the area by this group."
Of the seven arrested two were from the Town of Binghamton and one was from the Town of Union. Leaving state police to say the streets should be safer for now.
"It certainly means at least it's a little more difficult for people to get meth on the streets right now.
The ringleader, Donivan Pittman from Georgia, faces a minimum of life in prison and a $20,000,000 fine.
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