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Spa City Police: Drug ring investigation complete, 11 arrests made

The arrest of a Spa City woman in a motel in Wilton on Tuesday brought to a close a six-month investigation into a crack cocaine drug ring that allegedly distributed narcotics in Saratoga and Warren counties over the past year, police announced today.

Rose Marie Rivera, 23, of 25 Doten Ave., Saratoga Springs, is the 11th person to be arrested as a result of the investigation. She was charged with possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, a class B felony.

In late 2008, police from three different agencies realized they had separately identified a loosely associated group of individuals dealing crack cocaine in the northern Saratoga County and southern Warren County area. The agencies met at the DEA-Capital District Drug Enforcement Task Force offices in Albany and began efforts to disrupt the group.

According to the Saratoga Spring Police Department, the investigation revealed that members of the group would buy cocaine in bulk in New York City then utilize female couriers to transport the drug back to Saratoga and Warren counties. The cocaine would be processed, or cooked, at various locations before being packaged for street sale, police say.

The first arrests in the investigation came in February of 2009. Each arrest led to more information and additional suspects being identified. The United States Marshals became involved and executed the final two arrest warrants in the investigation, including that of Rivera.

Agencies involved in the investigation included the Saratoga Springs Police Department, Saratoga County Sheriff's Office, New York State Police- Wilton, New York State Police CNET-Capital, the Warren County Sheriff's Narcotics Enforcement Unit, DEA Capital District Drug Enforcement Task Force and the United States Marshall's Service.

In addition to Rivera, the following individuals were arrested and charged in connection with the drug ring:

Christian Maldanado, 28, of 1095 University Ave, Bronx-Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree, a class B felony.

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