HAWTHORNE, N.Y. -- The Westchester County Police announced 23 people have been arrested for selling heroin throughout the county following a year-long investigation.
A total of 15 face Federal charges and eight face state charges.
The arrests were announced at a press conference attended by County Executive Rob Astorino Tuesday afternoon at the Department of Public Safety Headquarters in Hawthorne. More than $1 million of heroin was seized as part of the bust, police said.
"The message to the bad guys trying to give heroin to our children and put it in our schools is we're coming after you," Astorino said.
County police were flanked by the police chiefs of Bedford, Buchanan, Croton-on-Hudson, Mount Kisco, Ossining, Peekskill and Yorktown, whose departments, along with the FBI, were part of a multi-agency task force.
The task force has made more than 125 arrests in Northern Westchester with most suspects being charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree with intent to sell and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree.
The suspects facing federal charges are accused of being suppliers of larger quantities of heroin and face up to life in prison if convicted.
Arrested on state charges were the following Peekskill residents: Artis Smythe, 26; Alprentice Scott, 42; Tara Roberts, 41; Robert Sayeh, 46; Daniel Bagot, 20; Lenny Brothers, 40; Tristian Ernest, 23; and Craig Farmer, 26.
The vast majority of persons arrested in the last year in the operation were charged with criminal sale and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree.
“The law enforcement community resolved to increase the already substantial resources that were being expended to combat the heroin trade,” George Longworth, Commissioner of Public Safety, said. “This multi-agency task force has quietly taken scores of drug dealers off our streets along with some of those who supply them.”
Longworth said that heroin was being sold all across Northern Westchester.
“Heroin is being sold on tree-lined streets," Longworth said. "It is being used by – and sold by -- young people who live in comfortable homes and circumstances. This is everybody’s problem and all of us are working together to solve it. Our work does not end today.”
Peekskill Police Chief Eric Johansen said the city is safer as a result of these arrests.
"Our children are safer and that's the goal," Johansen said.