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Ware arrests 20 people in undercover crackdown on drug dealing

by The Republican Newsroom Friday August 29, 2008, 5:30 PM

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WARE - Police Chief Dennis M. Healey said this afternoon that 20 arrests have been made so far in "Operation CRACK Down," a roundup of street-level drug dealers that began as an undercover investigation 18 months ago.

The sweep of suspects was ongoing at 4 p.m., and police still had about 10 arrest warrants in hand, Healey said. Most of the investigation's seven search warrants also had been executed, he said.

The identities of those arrested will be released late tonight or early tomorrow, he said. At least one suspect had more than $2,000 in cash, which is believed to be tied to the drug trade, Healey said. He said some of the suspects have prior criminal records and have been arrested here previously.

With Sgt. Kenneth A. Kovitch and officer Shawn C. Crevier as the primary investigators, the undercover work included purchases of prescription drugs, heroin, cocaine and marijuana from about 30 drug dealers during an 18-month period, Healey noted.

The investigation was financed by the police department's drug and asset forfeiture funds and the New England State Police Information Network. Former Monson Police Chief Curtis M. McKenzie is the network's liaison officer to the Ware department.

Healey said his department is being assisted in the roundup by the state police narcotics unit, the Belchertown, Hardwick and Ludlow police departments, and the Hampshire County Sheriff's Department.
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