5 arrested on drug charges in Cortlandt

Five people were arrested on drug charges following a police pursuit in Cortlandt that led to the lockdown of two local schools Wednesday.

Police say the incident started around 1 p.m., when a team of 10 Westchester County narcotics officers attempted to serve a warrant to 27-year-old Damien Karnes at a house on Lexington Avenue.

Lt. James Luciano, of the Westchester County Police, says Karnes fled the scene when he saw police officers approaching. A part of the team gave chase, while the rest of the officers entered the house and conducted a search, allegedly uncovering heroine, prescription drugs and paraphernalia.

Police arrested three people on drug charges, and one person was arrested for allegedly buying drugs at the home moments before police arrived.

In the meantime, a perimeter was set up as police officers hunted for Karnes using a helicopter and K-9 units. Van Cortlandtville Elementary School in Mohegan Lake and Lincoln Titus Elementary School in Crompond went on lockdown for the duration of the pursuit.

Police later received a tip from a passerby and found Karnes hiding in a stream near the Cortlandt Town Center. The suspect was taken into custody and is now facing drug charges.

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