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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
December 14, 2006
Contact: S/A Erin Mulvey
Public Information Officer
Number: (212) 337-2906

Operation Crystal Apple Nets 6 Arrests for Meth in NY

DEC 14 -- (BINGHAMTON, NY) - John Gilbride, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, New York Division Field Division and Glenn T. Suddaby, United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York joined several state and federal law enforcement officials to announce multiple arrests and seizures of drugs and firearms relating to an investigation of the distribution, in upstate New York, of multiple pounds of methamphetamine supplied from the southwest border. Seizures included methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana, firearms and a significant amount of United States currency.

"Meth is one of the most frightening drugs we've ever encountered because of the 4 'A's'. It is highly addictive, easily accessible; appealing to a large cross section of society, and it affects more than just the user,” said Gilbride. “We are experiencing an unprecedented rise in the use, trafficking, and manufacturing of methamphetamine in the United States. Meth is a war of consequences and no community is immune."

As a result of this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, dubbed Operation Crystal Apple, the following individuals have been arrested and charged by criminal complaint with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

Albert A. Abplanalp, age 58, of 1211 S. Pueblo Ct., Gilbert, Arizona;
Mary Germaine Cron, age 47, of 98 North Street, Johnson City, New York;
Leonard B. Howell, age 51, of 1029 Old Route 7, Port Crane, New York;
Ralph H. Parkes, age 56, of 3106 Route 26, Glen Aubrey, New York; and
David R. Gunther, 62, 5213 Comstock Avenue, Brewerton, Onondaga County, New York.

Frank W. Niles, 60, 3213 Verdun Avenue, Union, New York, also has been arrested and charged with possessing with intent to distribute cocaine and marijuana. In addition, search warrants were executed at eleven locations in connection with the arrests, as follows:

The residence of Albert A. Abplanalp, 1811 South Pueblo Court, Gilbert, Arizona;
The residence of Mary Cron, 98 North Street, Johnson City, New York;
The residence of Ralph Parkes, 3106 NY State Route 26, Glen Aubrey, New York;
The residence of Leonard Howell, 1029 Old Route 7, Port Crane, New York;
The residence of Frank W. Niles, 3213 Verdun Avenue, Endicott, New York;
The residence of David R. Gunther, 5213 Comstock Road, Brewerton, New York
1662 County Route 11, Parish, New York;
237 Geiss Road, Harpursville, New York;
106 North Street. Johnson City, New York;
1518 East Maine Road, Maine, New York; and
576 Y2 Chenango Street, Binghamton, New York.

United States Attorney Suddaby emphasized that addressing the problem of drug trafficking continues to be one of the top priorities of the Department of justice. "Our efforts to reduce the demand for, and supply of, methamphetamine has special priority. With vigorous enforcement, the vigilance of citizens, and changes in federal and state law, the number of small toxic labs that were so prominent in the Northern District of New York, and particularly the Southern Tier, for the past several years have been decreasing. It is estimated that eighty percent of the methamphetamine used in the United States comes from larger labs, increasingly in Mexico. Operation Crystal Apple illustrates that the threat that has emerged reaches us here, and that we are attacking this threat vigorously, too. This investigation exemplifies the nationwide initiative by the Department of Justice, which is working with federal, state, tribal, and local law enforcement and our international partners to combat methamphetamine production and trafficking, as well as the abuse of methamphetamine that plagues our nation. United States Attorney Suddaby thanked the Drug Enforcement Administration and New York State Police for their collaboration and leadership of this investigation and the overall effort to stem the methamphetamine tide."

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