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Three arrested in heroin bust

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Three people are facing drug charges after they allegedly were found with 106 bags of heroin and about 3 grams of unpackaged heroin Tuesday morning in a North Rutland Street apartment.

Arrested at the residence were Mia E. LaMarche, 32, of 135 N. Rutland St., Apt. No. 2, on one count of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance; Pierre L. Buggs, 29, Brooklyn, on two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, and Stephen J. Gilligan, age unavailable, Watertown, on seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

The heroin was valued at about $3,000, said Chris L. Cuppernell, supervisor of the Metro-Jeff Drug Task Force.

The arrests were a result of an investigation that took place over the last several weeks. The three are considered street-level drug dealers. The task force has been busy with heroin busts, with about one-fifth of its current cases involving the drug

Heroin use has been on the rise because its price is going down, Mr. Cuppernell said, adding that it has dropped by about half in recent years.

“It’s making a comeback, as sad as it is,” he said. “It used to be other drugs looked down upon heroin users.”

As in other recent heroin busts, the dealers have a New York City connection and come up to the north country “to make a big sell,” he said.

Ms. Lamarche and Mr. Buggs were arraigned in Watertown City Court. He was sent to the Metro-Jefferson Public Safety Building on no bail and ordered to return to court Sept. 26, while she was jailed on $20,000 bail and is to be back in court Monday. Mr. Gilligan was released with an appearance ticket for City Court.

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