Thursday, 25 May 2023 14:03

Drug Bust, Deputies Shot

Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo at press conference on May 23, 2023. Photo by Thomas Dimopoulos. Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo at press conference on May 23, 2023. Photo by Thomas Dimopoulos.

BALLSTON SPA — Six minutes after sunrise Tuesday morning, members of the county Sheriff’s Office Special Operation and Narcotics Unit assisted the DEA in executing a federal search warrant at 312 Foxwood Drive. The warrant relating to a six-month long narcotics investigation.

“The Special Operations team announced their purpose and authority and entered the residence,” explained Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo. “A person inside the home began shooting at deputies.”

The person inside, identified as 23-year-old Anthony Zaremski, was the subject of the investigation leading to the search warrant.

“He struck two deputies with gunfire, at which time deputies returned fire,” Zurlo said. “Mr. Zaremski was pronounced dead at 9:15 a.m. at Albany Medical Center.” 

The two injured deputies, who Sheriff Zurlo declined to name, have served with the department for five years, and two years, respectively. One was struck in the chest with a round that was deflected by life-saving body armor; the other suffered a shattered femur as a result of a serious gunshot wound to his thigh, Zurlo said.

The prognosis for both is excellent, he added. “The quick thinking and instinctive actions be the members of the Special Operations Team in rendering aid to the deputies – including applying two tourniquets to the deputy shot in the thigh - was nothing short of heroic.”

A DEA officer, who is also a medic, applied first aid to Zaremski until he was transported to Albany Medical Center.

Zaremski had a lengthy criminal history record, Zurlo said, including attempted murder, and criminal drug and loaded firearm possession charges. “We encountered a dangerous subject this morning when we entered that residence.”

Tuesday’s actions were part of an ongoing criminal investigation dating back six months and involve four search warrants in the Saratoga/Albany region.

“The seizures that resulted from today’s operation resulted in hundreds of thousands of fentanyl pills and ecstasy pills, multiple kilograms of cocaine and nearly 50 rifles and handguns,” said Frank Tarentino III, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New York Division covering the State of New York. “The amount of Fentanyl pills we seized today is equivalent to roughly 60,000 lethal doses removed from the streets of this community.” 

The tally of seized items is from the first three warrant searches. Any items seized from the fourth location – where the shooting occurred Tuesday – are not included in that tally, Tarentino said.

Sheriff Zurlo said he would not comment whether anyone else was present inside the home, other than that no children were present.    

“This is the first time I think, in the history of the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office, that we had two members shot,” Zurlo said, at a presser held in Ballston Spa Tuesday afternoon. “There are no words to sufficiently describe how grateful I am that this is only a press conference and not a eulogy.”

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