Albany Police Chief: Major drug pipeline busted but it's not a win

July 14, 2016 05:19 PM

ALBANY -- The early morning raids, many in Albany, netted street drugs, illegal pain pills, cash and weapons.  Still, the Albany Police Chief doesn't consider it a victory.

"Closing the jail cell and hearing a click, that's not a win.  That's a complete failure. A societal failure," explains Chief Brendan Cox.

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For more than a year, three agencies dedicated hundreds and hundreds of hours and 30 to 40 investigators at a time to 'Operation Uptown Red Alert.'  The sweep recovered about half a million dollars worth of heroin - enough to fill 50,000 street baggies.  It stopped a local pipeline, for now, but it's the demand Cox believes that needs to be addressed.

"We take one supplier off the market and someone else steps in because it's money."

Of the 27 people arrested, 17 are from our area.  The others are from New York City and Pennsylvania.  They range in ages, gender and race.  But one thing many have in common?  Prior convictions.

"I don't think our system rehabilitates anybody or we give them the tools necessary."

Despite his concerns, Cox and his officers would of course, do it all again.  The issue, he believes however, is bigger than his, or any, department.

"As long as we have suppliers come in and bring it in, we have to stop that."  Cox added, "But the problem is, addiction shouldn't be in the hands of the police."

One of the men implicated in the case was running the ring from prison.


WNYT Staff

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