Cocaine bust nets 24 arrests

May 30, 2012

A state investigation has yielded two-dozen arrests in connection with two cocaine trafficking operations based in South Buffalo. 

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says 24 individuals have been arrested on narcotics trafficking charges in an investigation dubbed "Operation Babcock."  Babcock the South Buffalo neighborhood in which much of the activity was based. 

Schneiderman says two separate distribution networks reached into several Western New York counties, including Erie, Allegany, Cattaraugus and Genesee.  Several kilos of cocaine were seized, along with more than $58,000 in cash. 

Authorities say 40-year-old Richard Himbury of Tonawanda was identified as a major regional supplier.  Another one of the defendants, 41-year-old Laurie Kozakowski of Batavia, allegedly trafficked cocaine from Buffalo to Batavia while working as a toll collector on the Thruway. She is charged with an A1 felony, which carries a penalty of 8 to 20 years in prison, if convicted.

The year-long investigation was a joint effort between the state's Organized Crime Task Force and the New York State Police's Community Narcotics Enforcement Team, with assistance from the Buffalo Police Department and the New York State Division of parole.