December 15, 2011
Saratoga Springs Police and Task Force Officers assigned to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)-Albany have arrested twelve people on drug and conspiracy charges stemming from a five-month investigation into illegal drug activity in and around the City of Saratoga Springs. The investigation began during August of 2011 during street level drug enforcement activities conducted by the Saratoga Springs Police Special Investigations Unit operating under an Operation IMPACT-Tools grant sponsored by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services. Opera-tion IMPACT-Tools provides support to local police agencies to combat drug and associated crime in targeted areas of eligible localities. The Saratoga Springs Police have participated in the Operation-IMPACT-Tools program for the past four years
Based upon information learned during the initial street level investigations, Saratoga Springs Police requested assistance from the DEA Task Force in Albany. Task Force Agents and city investigators in cooperation with the office of Saratoga County District Attorney James Murphy, conducted the investigation through the fall and began making arrests related to the case in November. Over two ounces of powder cocaine, five pounds of marijuana and one vehicle were seized as a result of the investigation. All of those arrested have been charged with felony counts of Conspiracy in the 4th degree for their involvement with drug trafficking activity.
As the investigation focused mainly on street level drug activity in the downtown area of Saratoga Springs, most of the charged offenses in-volve relatively small amounts of powder cocaine. The following individuals have been arrested by City Police and have been arraigned in City Court on Thursday December 22, 2011:
Robert K. Allen (43) County Route 75, Mechanicville, NY. Three counts each of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, all class B Felonies.
Thomas R. Kopach (52) Kayderossas Dr. Ballston Spa, NY. Two counts each of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third degree and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree.
Jose A. Cruz (39) Lincoln Ave. Saratoga Springs, NY. Two Counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree.
In addition to the above charges Robert Allen, Thomas Kopach and the remaining defendants listed below have been charged with Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony:
Edward Fitzgerald (59) Union Ave. Saratoga Springs, NY.
Heather Chittenden (38) Cook Circle, Gansevoort, NY
Thomas W. Williams (40) Madison Ave, Saratoga Springs, NY.
April L. Allen (34) County Route 75, Mechanicville
Susan M. Forbes (41) Casino Dr., Saratoga Springs, NY.
Deborah M. Risso (50) Northern Pines Rd. Gansevoort, NY.
Paul M. Fasulo (68) Sunrise Dr. Saratoga Springs, N Y.
Thomas J. Bowe (44) Russell Rd. Schuylerville, NY.
David C. Forbes (43) Lee St. Ballston Spa, NY.
Police believe that the arrests made thus far in the investigation will have a significant impact in drug trafficking activity in the downtown area in the short term. Saratoga Springs Commissioner of Public Safety Richard Wirth stated, “Investigations like this are very man-power intensive. Cooperation between agencies is essential to send a strong message to people who would deal drugs in this city. By working with the DEA and District Attorney Murphy, our Police Department will continue to proactive-ly address drug dealing in all areas of the City.”
Although the arrests made to date represent the majority of those involved in the investigation, police expect to make additional arrests in the near future.
Robert Allen Thomas Kopach Jose Cruz Edward Fitzgerald
Heather Chittenden Thomas Williams April Allen Susan Forbes
Deborah Risso Paul Fasulo Thomas Bowe David Forbes