Seven people were arrested for drugs after the Erie County sheriff's Marine Unit stopped a boat for speeding within 100 feet of shore.
The subsequent investigation resulted in the discovery of a large amount of cocaine.
Deputies found 18 bags totaling a half ounce of cocaine in Melvin Ward's possession, and deputies determined he was selling cocaine from the boat. He was charged with two felony counts including criminal possession and criminal possession with intent to sell.
Also arrested were Matthew Ohleman, 25, Nicholas Pera, 49, Charles Licthenberger, 28, Erin Mahoney, 31, Elizabeth Honan, 27, and Justin Hart, 22. They were charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance.
Ohleman faces an additional charge of obstruction of governmental administration because he interfered with deputies while they were on the boat.
This was a very dangerous situation our deputies found themselves in, but their training and experience quickly brought it under control until backup arrived," said Erie County Sheriff Tim Howard.
U.S. Coast Guard Station Buffalo dispatched one of its boats to assist the Deputies. Upon arrival at the scene, Coast Guard personnel rescued one individual from the water and turned that individual over to the custody of the Erie County sheriff's deputies.
"Knowing that other law enforcement marine units are available to assist my deputies is appreciated, and I want to thank the Coast Guard for its quick response," Howard said.
Ward, age 32, is in custody at the Erie County Holding Center pending arraignment in Buffalo City Court.
Ohelman was transported to the holding center in lieu of $500 bail and the rest of the individuals were issued appearance tickets for Buffalo City Court and are due to appear on June 30.