OBSERVER Staff Report
As the result of an ongoing investigation into the sale and distribution of cocaine in the city of Dunkirk, police and the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force have charged Jason L. Williams, 36, of 706 Main St.; Draoon Richardson-Copeland, 22, of 267 Lake Shore Drive E.; and Jessie Melendez, 25, of 500 Deer St. with one count each of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree, a Class B Felony.
The city of Dunkirk Police Department located Williams on Oct. 30 and the village of Fredonia Police located Richardson-Copeland and Melendez on Oct. 31. All three were taken into custody without incident and were held in the city of Dunkirk jail pending their arraignments.
Members of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force had obtained the arrest warrants from Dunkirk City Court Judge Walter Drag.
It is alleged that each of the three subjects have sold quantities of cocaine to undercover agents of the police in the city of Dunkirk. This is an ongoing investigation into narcotics trafficking in the Dunkirk-Fredonia area as well as Northern Chautauqua County. As a result of this investigation the drug task force along with city and village police anticipate additional charges.
Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano had a warning for drug dealers.
"As always, we will continue to send the message loud and clear that we do not tolerate this behavior and we will continue to pursue those who choose to participate in narcotic and drug trafficking activity," Ortolano said. "Narcotic enforcement is a priority as it is the catalyst to a large number of other criminal activities. We will continue our efforts every day and I can promise that we are not done and there will be more arrests.
"I encourage all city residents to call the hotline, police desk or drop off at my office any information, locations, descriptions of subjects, vehicles, etc. that may be related to narcotic activity. With the help of community residents we will continue to fight this activity and send the message to those who participate that we don't want them here."
The Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force is comprised of members of the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office, city of Jamestown Police Department and the city of Dunkirk Police Department. Authorities ask that anyone with information regarding the sale and distribution of narcotics contact either the Task Force at 800-344-8702 or your local police department.