Operation Safe Summer seizes meth, cocaine, cash and a car

BATH — In an effort to get drug dealers and their supply off the streets ahead of the summer, a collective effort of law enforcement conducted a sweep that yielded 10 arrests and 26 criminal indictments.

On Thursday morning at approximately 4:30 a.m., more than 50 members of law enforcement from five agencies provided the manpower to conduct raids in search of 19 subjects in connection to sealed Steuben County Grand Jury indictments.

According to Steuben County District Attorney Brooks Baker, arrests took place in the Village of Bath, the Town of Bath, the Town of Campbell and other locations.

Among those arrested were:

Frank L. McCray, 47, of 23W. William St., Bath; Gerald D. Iverson, 48, of 97 Elba St., Rochester; William J. Trenchard, 37, of Bath; Gordon H. Clayson, 47, of 101 W. Washington St., Bath; Jessica A. Austin, 34, of Holland American Hotel, Bath; Joseph R. Bennett Jr., 31, of 8832 state Route 415, Campbell; Carl J. McCoy, 50, of 153 Winter Roth St., Rochester; Zachary D. Fulkerson, 27, of 7422 Knowles Road Campbell; and Sean Riley, 32, of Corning.

Crimes charged ranged from class-E to B level felonies, which can carry up to 15-20 years in prison depending on felony histories. All the arrested were remanded to Steuben County Jail with no opportunity for bail. The top counts in the indictments included third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance (cocaine and heroin).

The sweep is part of a four-month investigation that began in February and was spearheaded by Village of Bath Police Chief Chad Mullen and lead Inv. Colin Taft.

Initial investigations included foot-work by police, who gathered evidence by conducting buys with confidential informants and undercover officers.

"It's weeks upon weeks of gathering information on each of these investigations," Mullen said. "I'm very proud of everyone. The last couple of weeks, we've made major seizures between traffic stops and our investigators pounding the pavement ...It's dangerous times for the drug dealers, I'll tell you that. We're going to be coming to get you."

Thursday's sweep was overseen by Steuben County District Attorney's Office Inv. Walt Mackney, with members of the Steuben County Sheriff's Office, Corning Police Department and the New York State Police. Additional leads and information were developed with help from the Hornell Police Department.

Child Protective Services was also on scene to care for children at the bust sites.

Mackney credited the public for their help. 

"The public is our greatest ally, we get so much of the information we utilize in these operations from the public."

"We're trying to make this a hostile work environment for drug dealers," Mackney said of Steuben County's Drug Initiative. 

Searches resulted in the seizure of cash, methamphetamine, cocaine packaged for sale valued at more than $10,000 and a BMW.

"Among the targets in this investigation were several predicate violent felons. Several very dangerous people were taken off the street as a result of what happened today," Baker said.

Some have done time for violent felonies,, according to the district attorney.

"A number of these folks are coming out of the Rochester area and bringing drugs into this community. Some is homegrown as well. We have people making methamphetamine here as well," Baker said.

On Wednesday night the Steuben County Sheriff's Department took down a meth lab in Addison, seizing three ounces of the completed drug. Highway interdiction efforts also yielded two crack cocaine seizures; one with 64 bags, the other with 93.

"We continue to see not only increased efforts in our interdiction, but also the information that is developed to assist our investigators and communication back to the road patrol, and if this week is any indication, we're going to remain very busy," said Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard.

Nine suspects in Operation Safe Summer are still at large, many with ties to the Rochester area. Their names were not released on Thursday due to the nature of the sealed indictments against them. 

Anyone with with information on ongoing drug activity is encouraged to call 844-DrugTip, or visit 844DrugTip.com to make an anonymous tip.