3 arrested after police report making undercover drug buys in Niles

Local News

"It's exactly what needs to be done in Trumbull County with our overdose deaths being so high," said TAG commander Tony Villanueva.

NILES, Ohio (WKBN) – Investigators looking into drug trafficking in the City of Niles searched three homes at the same time, resulting in three arrests.

Niles police and TAG drug task force agents teamed up for Friday morning’s drug sweep.

“To have three search warrants in one day in the City of Niles, that’s a good day,” said Capt. Tony Villanueva, TAG commander.

The first happened at a duplex at 1677 Timber Ct. where police said the city’s street crimes unit had made undercover methamphetamine purchases after neighbors tipped them off to activity.

“It was a lot of neighbors complaining, a large amount of traffic in and out late at night, cars visiting for a few minutes and then leaving,” said Niles Police Chief Jay Holland.

Police said they found suspected meth, drug paraphernalia and drug abuse instruments inside.

Charles Palmer, 47, was arrested on a warrant while 46-year-old Laurie Pizzulo (aka Laurie Brown) is now facing a felony drug trafficking charge. Police said both Palmer and Pizzulo live at the duplex.

“It surprised me because…no issues over there,” said Donald Gadd, who lives nearby. “The police hadn’t been there at all. They were just pretty quiet.”

Meanwhile, TAG agents searched two houses on S. Cedar Street — 227 and 215. Investigators said they also made undercover purchases of heroin and meth from those houses.

According to TAG, agents found ammunition, 1.3 grams of suspected fentanyl, scales, 28 grams of suspected meth, drug paraphernalia and packaging material during those searches.

Two people were arrested during the searches — including 42-year-old Lamar Sims, on a parole violation.

“It’s exactly what we need to do,” Villanueva said. “It’s exactly what needs to be done in Trumbull County with our overdose deaths being so high.”

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