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Billboards with a warning to drug dealers

May 3, 2018

Billboard sends a message to drug dealers
Credit JVANBREDERODE@townofgates.org

Law enforcement and the private sector are teaming up to send a message to drug dealers:

If you deal drugs and someone dies, you're going to prison for homicide.

That's what it says on a billboard near High Falls that was unveiled this morning.

Gary Rogers, owner of Dock Hardware, paid for it.

He said one of his employees was personally affected by the opioid crisis.

Sheriff Todd Baxter and other law enforcement officials want drug dealers to get the message that if they deal drugs that kill someone, they'll face homicide charges

"We all have personal experiences. I've got a fellow who works for me. I walk in every single day and see his broken heart. He lost his son at 30 years old. And he was kind of an inspiration. If we can save lives in his remembrance, that's something I was glad to do."

He says the billboard is money well spent.

“Absolutely.  Because, what’s the price of a life?  You know, this is what we do,” he said.

Monroe County Sheriff Todd Baxter said a digital billboard with the same message will be installed on 390.

“If you’re dealing dope, and it’s dirty dope and it kills someone, we’re going to come after you with a homicide charge,” he said.

Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley says if they find aggravating circumstances in a particular case, they can charge someone with homicide.

"The law is now in our favor, it’s going to support us.  And billboards like this, you can’t say that you don’t know that opioids don’t cause death.  Everyone knows, so you know what, the facts are there, the cases are going to be built, and we’re going to be prosecuting you for these offenses, so beware,” she said.

Gates Police Chief James VanBrederode adds drug dealers are aware of the dangers, but they keep adding fentanyl and coming up a mix of heroin that can be deadly.

He says the ad campaign is another reminder to them that law enforcement is watching and the deaths are going to come to an end one way or another.

Gates Police Chief James VanBrederode and Monroe County Sheriff Todd Baxter unveil the new campaign with a message to drug dealers: