News Release
November 9, 2006
Contact: SA Erin Mulvey

TIOGA County Cleans Up

Assistant Special Agent in Charge Matthew Barnes addressed the press at the Tioga County Sheriffs Department

NOV 9 -- JOHN P. GILBRIDE, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New York Field Division, Sheriff Gary Howard of the Tioga County Sheriff’s Office, and Lt. Pat Garey of the New York State Police (CNET) Community Narcotics Enforcement Team announced the arrests of 56 individuals, seizure of $8,000 in drug proceeds and 7 guns.

On May 1, 2006, Sheriff Gary Howard made an official request to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for assistance in conducting an aggressive investigative operation, focusing on illegal drug activities within Tioga County. This request was intended to augment the on-going drug investigative effort of the Sheriff’s Office, the New York State Police (CNET) Community Narcotics Task Force, and the Waverly Police Department.

In June, 2006, the DEA’s New York Mobile Enforcement Team (MET) deployed to Tioga County in the Town of Owego, NY. Coordinating the investigation, the DEA MET team, Tioga County Sheriff’s Office and the New York State Police identified and arrested 56 individuals, including Michael Roberts and several other of his co-conspirators who headed and supervised methamphetamine cooks and distributed crack cocaine. Throughout the deployment a total of nine arrestees were indicted federally in the Northern District of New York as well as in the Middle District of Pennsylvania, U.S. Attorney’s Office. During this deployment, two methamphetamine laboratories were seized and dismantled. This investigation resulted in the seizure of 17 grams of methamphetamine, 120 grams of crack cocaine, 75 pounds of Marihuana, 175 Marihuana plants, 6 grams of heroin and 7 guns.

“ These arrests represent the commitment of local and federal law enforcement to reclaim their neighborhoods from drugs and violence,” said John Gilbride, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Division, Drug Enforcement Administration. “The DEA’s Mobile Enforcement Team, known as MET is responsible for investigating and bringing to justice those responsible for distributing dangerous drugs throughout our communities.” SAC Gilbride praised the Tioga County Sheriff’s Office, and the New York State Police CNET, for their diligent work and assistance throughout the MET deployment.

The MET program was created by the DEA in early 1995 as a response to the overwhelming problem of drug-related violent crime that plagues neighborhoods and communities throughout the United States. The increasing sophistication of drug-trafficking organizations and the availability of automatic weapons make drug law enforcement more difficult and dangerous than ever before. The MET program helps local law enforcement entities attack the violent drug organizations in their neighborhoods and restores a safer environment for the residents of these communities.

During the operational period assistance and support was provided by the; Waverly Police, Broome County Sheriff’s Office, Binghamton Police, Elmira Police, Athens Pennsylvania Police, Pennsylvania State Police, Tompkins County Sheriff's Office, Ithaca Police Department, Endicott Police, NYS Parole, and Police K-9 units from Vestal Police and Broome County Sheriff's Office.