A few weeks ago the Spencer Village Board presented Spencer Police Chief Michael Monteiro with a commendation from New York State for his role in the apprehension of 31 people on drug charges. The individuals were charged with a 217-count indictment in Tioga County court. The arrests came in May of 2017 after an extensive investigation that started in the Village of Spencer with Monteiro. The drug ring’s reach extended to multiple areas surrounding Tioga County, including places like Watkins Glen, Ithaca, Cortland, Bradford County, PA, and New York City.
At the time of the coordinated arrests, officers recovered “heroin, methamphetamines, lots of guns and lots of fentanyl,” Monteiro told Random Harvest. “Some of the heroin was laced with fentanyl and was positively linked to some deaths.” One person from the town of Spencer has been charged with manslaughter in connection with a fentanyl-laced heroin death.
Chief Monteiro was the first person to become aware of this particular drug-selling operation and began the investigation that led to the arrest and charges against the 31 individuals – hence the commendation from the state. He told Random Harvest, “Every agency involved did a great job and did their part. It takes cooperation from multiple agencies to bring down a drug network as large as this one. I greatly appreciate all the departments involved, including the Spencer Police Department’s K-9 officer, Edward McCulskey.” Monteiro also expressed his concern about the ongoing drug problem in Tioga County. “Fentanyl is the big thing now,” said Monteiro. “That’s what’s causing the deaths. Our concern now is marijuana laced with fentanyl.” Photos provided by the NYS Attorney General’s office show some items seized during the arrests. These include a kilogram of heroin, dozens of grams of cocaine, 15 guns and drug paraphernalia.
The following letter of commendation was sent to the Spencer Village Board by State Police Captain Gregory S. Thomas, Assistant CNET Detail Commander. Thomas commended Monteiro for his initiative and assistance in apprehending the members of this drug ring:
“I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation and gratitude for the cooperation and assistance provided to the New York State Police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team (CNET) by Chief Michael Monteiro. In the fall of 2015, Chief Monteiro contacted members of our CNET Southern Tier Office with information he had developed from a confidential informant regarding a large-scale heroin distribution operation that was distributing throughout Tompkins county and northern Tioga County. Chief Monteiro arranged a meeting between members of CNET Southern Tier and his source, which ultimately launched a long-term multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional investigation.
“As a result of this investigation, over 30 members of this organization were indicted on over 200 counts related to the illegal distribution of this deadly and destructive drug.
“Chief Monteiro is commended for his efforts and the assistance he provided throughout this investigation, which in the end, led to the dismantling of a drug network that has been operating throughout our communities for several years.”