Father, son charged after Schenectady drug raid in which two pit bulls were killed
SCHENECTADY A father and son were arrested Friday in connection with a drug raid on Elbert Street during which officers shot and killed two pit bulls charging at them, Schenectady County sheriff’s officials said Tuesday.
Found inside the apartment, Sheriff Dominic Dagostino said, was a 2.7 pounds of marijuana, two loaded handguns and $1,600 in cash.
Arrested as a result of the raid were Kenneth J. Loika, 37, and his son, Justin M. Loika, 20, both of 5 Elbert St. Five others were in the house at the time, but were not charged, Dagostino said.
Deputies raided the residence around 10 a.m. Friday, a time chosen to ensure children who lived there were away at school, the sheriff said. No children were in the house at the time of the raid.
The two dogs were shot after the raid began. Deputies announced their presence, but none of the residents responded. As deputies began searching, Dagostino said, one of the occupants opened a bedroom door, letting the dogs out to rush officers.
They shot both dogs. A third dog, which was not aggressive, was not injured, Dagostino said.
No one was charged for turning the dogs loose on officers.
The bulk of the charges were filed against Kenneth Loika. In addition to possession charges related to the raid itself, he faces charges of third-degree possession and sale of a controlled substance for allegedly possessing and selling a controlled substance from the first-floor residence on Nov. 13, and fifth-degree criminal possession and sale of a controlled substance, accused of selling a controlled substance from that address on Nov. 12.
He also faces second-degree criminal possession of marijuana and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon charges, both felonies.
Justin Loika faces a single count of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon — a handgun found near his bed, according to court papers.
The investigation is continuing.
A woman identifying herself as the main resident there, Laquita Silas, questioned the validity of the warrant Tuesday, saying she did not get a copy. She was not there at the time of the raid.
She also questioned why deputies shot the dogs, pit bulls named Diamond and Bodo. She said she was told they heard the noise of the raid and were going to investigate.
Dagostino, though, said the warrant was posted and left at the home and was correct in its details.
The dogs, he said, were let loose and charged at officers in an attempt to attack them.
“Unfortunately,” he said, “the dogs had to be put down.”