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      Officials break up 'major' heroin trafficking ring based in Syracuse

      Joseph Rolph

      Syracuse Police made a big announcement about the breakup of a heroin trafficking ring Wednesday morning.

      Officials are calling it a â??major heroin investigationâ?? that resulted in the arrest of Calvin Marshall, of 207 Hier Avenue, Syracuse, who was the main target of the investigation locally.

      Members of the DEA High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area of CNY, which includes the DEA, the Onondaga County District Attorneyâ??s Office, the Onondaga County Sheriffâ??s Office, the U.S. Marshalâ??s Service, the New York National Guard and the Syracuse Police Department, were involved in the investigation.

      So far, the year-long heroin sting has netted 19 arrests, including Marshall, with eight guilty pleas. Five suspects are still at large, according to officials.

      Marshall is charged with two counts of conspiracy and two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance. Officials say he was working with several co-conspirators to bring large amounts of heroin into Central New York from Newark, New Jersey.

      Among those co-conspirators are Robert Stone, of Cincinnatus, Samuel Rodriguez, of Watertown, Jeremy Todd, of Baldwinsville, Douglas Carducci, of Camillus and Anthony Townsend, of Syracuse. All have bee arrested and are facing charges.

      The eight who already pleaded guilty to charges related to the sting are:

      Eric Williams, Bennie Smith, Walter Brown, Shawn Dunnell, Joseph Rolfe, Vanessa Santiago, Shawn Cox and Joseph Teta.

      Officials estimate that about $100,000 of currency and property was seized, along with 10,000 packets of heroin and one hand gun.

      "The investigation and the arrests announced today will not end our efforts to stop the influx of heroin in the Syracuse area," District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick says. "The HIDTA task force is an outstanding example of how collaboration and coordination by federal, state and local law enforcement can put a serious dent in narcotics trafficking. We will continue to work together with our partners to end the proliferation of heroin into this community."

      "These arrests signal a united effort by law enforcement to deny sanctuary to those who sell drugs or guns," DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt says. "Residents of Onondaga County deserve a safe, drug-free place to live and play, and today they are closer to that reality."