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20 arrested in bust involving fentanyl-laced heroin, cocaine

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Chris Caya/WBFO News
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A drug pipeline that fed Western New York is out of business. Federal, state and local law enforcement arrested 20 suspects in Buffalo and Lockport Thursday in a bust named Operation Rolling Thunder. 

State Police Superintendent Joseph D'Amico says more than $1 million worth of cocaine and heroin were seized, along with $60,000 in cash. Quantities totaled 1.5 kilos of heroin and six kilos of cocaine.

D'Amico says particularly disturbing is that the heroin was laced with a deadly mix of fentanyl.

"Fentanyl is much stronger than heroin," D'Amico said. "Thought we're not connecting any overdose deaths to these drugs or this crew at this time, imagine if these drugs had made it out to our streets and what the potential deadly impact could have been on our community."

Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda says the operation by federal, state and local law enforcement removed several top dealers from the street.

"At a time when we have at least ten people a week dying from overdoses, we believe this will have an impact on cutting down the amount of drugs being sold in this area," Derenda said.

D'Amico said police are still hunting for five other suspects. He said says the 25 suspects indicted had "no regard" for the damage the narcotics were inflicting on addicted residents.

The accused all face several felony charges with a maximum 25 years in prison, if convicted.