Candidate for sheriff hasn’t succeeded in opioid battle in Monroe County

Posted 12 June 2019 at 4:18 pm


Brett Sobieraski’s service to our country and career accomplishments are commendable. That said, it was surprising to see someone with such an impressive background spending most of his campaign demagoguing.

In reference to an article about a drug bust on the Hub, Brett stated there was “one agency noticeably absent in this criminal investigation.” Kudos to him for choosing an article that highlights drugs from Niagara County making their way to Orleans County. Perhaps his intent was to draw away attention from the fact that the majority of opioids found in Orleans County are being trafficked from Monroe County.

There are at least four cases involving a total of eight individuals from Rochester directly responsible for overdoses in Orleans County. Just one of those individuals was supplying more than 30 residents. If we are to point out an “agency noticeably absent,” I think it is equally important to point out an agency noticeably failing to contain a drug trafficking problem within Monroe County.

As Brett’s website states, he “oversees GRANET.” An organization that according to a D&C article, was at its creation “about an 18-person team comprised of representatives from all 11 police departments in Monroe County.” With all of those resources, how has the opioid crisis spiked so much? Brett says that the drugs are “not a deputy problem,” but a “leadership problem.”

Under his leadership in 2018, Monroe County saw 85 opioid overdoses, of which 16 were fatal, in the month of February alone! Orleans County had 69 overdoses, 12 of which were fatal, throughout all of 2018. Need I mention again that one, just one, Monroe County resident was providing at least 30 members of Orleans County with opioids?

How is it he claims to have a plan to deal with the opioid issues in Orleans County, when he cannot contain it within Monroe? Speaking of containment, how often has anyone heard of cases where an Orleans County resident has been distributing fentanyl to Monroe County?

His campaign website says he will “build” “walls” on the major corridors into our county, but if he wasn’t able to achieve that with a joint effort between 11 departments, he will be completely ineffective with the substantially less resources available as Orleans County Sheriff. Brett is correct with his assertation of the opioid crisis being a leadership problem, but the problem isn’t the leadership in Orleans County.

In addition to slandering the Sheriff’s Department and his opponent, he made it a point to voice his support for the Orleans County Major Felonies Crime Task Force. It is almost as if he is attempting to drive a wedge between our local law enforcement agencies. It seems to echo the last time he was involved in an election for Orleans County Sheriff. As he preaches of unity and cooperation, it has been disappointing to see him sowing seeds of discord within agencies he plans on overseeing. The only people who pay the price when he uses his platform to deliberately undermine the effectiveness of Orleans County law enforcement agencies, are the residents of the county.


Ace A. Strickland