Tonawanda News

February 22, 2014

NT arrests four during drug raid

Staff Reports
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — North Tonawanda authorities conducted a raid at an Oliver Street apartment and arrested four individuals for drug related offenses, a press release from the department states.

The raid at 784 Oliver St. was the culmination of a month-long investigation of drug sales and activity at the location, but police said the multi-family residence has posed a problem for police for years. 

“We have handled numerous neighbor complaints against the residents of that address,” the department’s statement reads. “All the persons involved are well known by our department with long histories of arrests.” 

Members of the Niagara County Drug Task Force, North Tonawanda police and the North Tonawanda/Tonawanda SWAT team conducted the raid at 7:45 p.m. Thursday. 

The individuals who were arrested are:

• Norman Koepsell, 59, of 784 Oliver St., apt. 1, was charged with three counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and three counts of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance. 

• Bryan Cummings, 35, of 784 Oliver St., apt. 5, was charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance.

• James Roberts, 55, of 19 Second Ave., was charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance.

• Amber Moore, 27, of 6625 Niagara Falls Blvd., Niagara Falls, was charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. 

All four were held for court and were arraigned Friday morning in North Tonawanda City Court. 

Over the past several years, many arrests and incidents have occurred at the location. In May 2013, an individual overdosed and then died in the building. In July 2013, Cummings was arrested for allegedly stabbing Koepsell, who refused to cooperate in the case, police said. The charges were subsequently dropped.

Then in January, Koepsell was charged with second-degree criminal nuisance for allegedly allowing individuals to sell crack cocaine out of his apartment. 

“This is just a small sampling of what has been going on at 784 Oliver St.,” the department said. 

The release states that police will be following up with the city attorney’s office to start proceedings for a nuisance eviction. 

“We also observed what we believe to be numerous housing code violations and will be requesting the assistance of code enforcement to make the building compliant,” the release states. “We hope the above will help to bring some peace to the neighbors.”