Local Police Reassure Awareness Of Drug Problem After Major Bust

By Greg Catlin

July 22, 2010 Updated Dec 22, 2006 at 11:20 PM EST

A home in Ithaca is one of several places raided this week.

So is one area motel.

Police confiscate 2 pounds of cocaine, a pound of marijuana, and cash.

The coke alone is worth up to 100 thousand dollars.

"Anybody smoking pot, trying a little crack, anything that's illegal, you are part of this. If your children are doing this, if your spouse is doing this, you are supporting this business in our community," says Ithaca Police Chief Lauren Signer.

A total of 33 people were arrested during this week's drug bust, most from the Ithaca area, some from New York City.

Police say it was the third in a series of arrests over the last few weeks.

"99% of the drugs we see in this area, especially when we talk about cocaine or heroin, come from New York City," says Lt. Patrick Garey of New York State Police.

Police and local leaders at a news conference in Ithaca tried to calm the community, explaining they have not seen an increase in crime.

"Knowing that there's a perception in the community of concern, and perception is as important as reality, because we certainly don't want to have our citizens worried," says Ithaca Mayor Carolyn Peterson.

Police say they're aware of the drug problem, and they're addressing it as they have all along.

"It's ruining families and it's crumbling our community, and that's what concerns us. That's what concerns us," says Signer.

Several agencies worked together on the Ithaca area drug busts.

Including State Police, Ithaca Police, the Tompkins County DA's office, the state Attorney General's Office, and the New York National Guard.

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