19 people have been arrested in an investigation called “Operation Climate Change,” the first big drug bust in the City of Hornell since the pandemic unfolded.
Two arrests were related to fatal overdoses that happened in June.
40 officers from the Hornell Police Department, Steuben County Sheriff’s Office, New York State Police and Steuben County District Attorney’s Office were all involved in the operation.
The investigation was put on hold and took longer to complete due to Covid-19.
The majority of suspects are residents of Hornell and were brought in early in the morning on warrants alleging felony drug sales, drug possession and other related charges.
Three inmates at the Steuben County Jail and one at Albion Correctional Facility were also charged, as well as a resident of Nunda.
Not only were the fatal overdoses in June related to people arrested during this investigation, but suspects also stole property after the overdoses; police found the deceased with their pockets turned inside out.
Most of the individuals arrested are likely to be released on their own recognizance following arraignment.
Steuben County District Attorney Brooks Baker stated that the operation was handled differently this time, and addictions counselors were made available to everyone arrested who may want or need help.
He said this is a different step in policing.