By Rick Pfeiffer
Niagara Gazette — Falls Police Narcotics detectives have put the collar on a pair of drug dealers operating near the Pine Avenue business district.
Drug investigators along with the police department's Emergency Response Team hit a home at 621 24th St. at 11 p.m. Monday. The raid was the result of a month-long investigation.
"First, there was a lot of traffic in and out of the house and we were getting a lot of complaints (of drug activity)," Narcotics Detective Steve Reed said. "Also, that house had seen numerous fight calls and an attempted robbery in recent weeks."
Reed said one of the targets of investigators was Daniel Pelfrey, 37, who boasts more than two dozen arrests on drug and theft charges.
"We've dealt with (Pelfrey) before," Reed said. "He sells whatever he can get out, weed, cocaine, pills. He's not a big dealer, but he's a nuisance dealer that needs to be addressed."
Reed, who along with Narcotics Detective Joe Giaquanito, led the investigation, said the Emergency Response Team was used to raid the home because of intelligence that indicated Pelfrey, and another suspect in the home, had weapons inside the house.
"We had information that there might be guns in the house," Reed said. "And that (information) proved to be correct."
After setting off what is known as a "flash-bang" grenade, ERT officers came through the front door of the home and encountered Pelfrey and two women on the first floor. As the officers made their way to the second floor of the home, and entered a bedroom, they found the other target of the investigation, Anthony Pettitt and two more people.
"He had a gun in his hands and when he saw the ERT guys, he threw the gun at them," Reed said. "He was the victim of the attempted robbery (at the home) and I believe he was prepared to defend himself against a home invasion. But when he saw it was police, (entering the house), I think he decided throwing the (gun) was a better option."
Investigators said they seized some prescription pain pills, some powdered Extsasy and almost five grams of crack cocaine from Pettitt. They also recovered the loaded .22 caliber rifle he threw at the ERT officers and two shotguns.
Pelfrey, of 621 24th St., was also in possession of a quantity of crack cocaine. He was charged with fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.
Pettitt, 20, also of 621 24th St., was charged with third, fifth and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.