Maj. Bill Berry, commander of the Albany-Dougherty Drug Unit with part of the haul of contraband discovered in a recent raid. (Staff photo: Jim West)
ALBANY — The Albany-Dougherty Drug Unit announced on Wednesday what agents are calling a “super huge” seizure of illegal drugs, firearms, vehicles and sneakers of questionable origin.
“In my 39 years in law enforcement, I’ve never seen so much spice (synthetic marijuana) in one place,” said Maj. Bill Berry, commander of the ADDU.
Lester Joffrion, 31, was arrested during the raid at 1901 Melrose Drive in Albany, executed on Friday, Berry said. Participating in the eight-month investigative effort were the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration in Columbus, the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Postal Service and the ADDU, Berry said.
According to Berry, contraband found inside the residence included an AR-15 assault weapon with a 100-round drum magazine, a .410 gauge pistol and two other firearms, as well as spice, a kilogram (2.2 pounds) of illegal bath salts and materials to manufacture or enhance drugs.
“Based on today’s street values, there’s an estimated $70,000 worth of spice here with some $80,000 worth of bath salts,” Berry said.
Also found among the drugs were a quantity of what drug agents believe to be psychedelic mushrooms and the illegal drug, ecstasy, Berry said.
According to Berry, seven large cardboard boxes, some already opened, with return addresses as far away as Hong Kong were found at the residence.
In addition, some 300 pair of high-end sneakers, which may or may not be counterfeit, and three vehicles were discovered and confiscated by the agents, Berry said.
“This is no street-level dealer,” Berry said. “This is the man, and I don’t think we go any higher without traveling to China.”
Berry said it was his understanding that Joffrion kept a job as local janitor as a cover for the drug operation.
Joffrion was charged with one count of possession of schedule one drugs, one count of manufacturing schedule one drugs and one count of possession of substances for manufacturing schedule one drugs.