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U.S. Attorney announces breakup of alleged family drug ring

Law enforcers say they've broken up a drug ring on Buffalo's East Side involving three generations of one family as well as close family friends.

Nine people have been indicted on various drug counts.  Facing the most counts is 58-year-old Theresa Anderson of Buffalo.  If convicted, she could face life in prison.  Investigators say she was the matriarch of this drug-dealing operation that first began small in 2000 and, over the next dozen years, acquired properties and expanded into a 24/7 operation.

"The other eight defendants, those who are named as Anderson's family and friends, they face narcotics conspiracy charges and multiple drug distribution charges," said William Hochul, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York.  "If convicted, they face a mandatory minimum ten years in jail to life."

An indictment returned earlier this week by a grand jury identifies fifteen properties, most of them located on Swinburne Street and Deshler Street in Buffalo, that were allegedly used for selling and strategic purposes.

"Those are locations where people can move from day to day.  One day they may be selling drugs at one house, the next day they'll move to another house to sell drugs.," said Dale Kasprzyk, resident agent in charge of the Buffalo office of the Drug Enforcement Agency.  "They do that to avoid detection by law enforcement.  That is absolutely part of their plan as the conduct their drug trafficking business."

Investigators say separate agencies gathered their own pieces of intelligence and finally, when they put it together, had enough to move in and break up the operation.  Law enforcers add that while the alleged drug dealers did intimidate neighbors and even drug rivals, the public also played a part in busting this operation by providing leads and tips that eventually led to this week's arrests.