Crack, Marijuana And Gun In Car Stopped At Sherman Hills

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WILKES-BARRE, PA — Police stopped a vehicle leaving Sherman Hills apartment around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday and found crack, marijuana and a loaded short-barrel revolver.

According to police Taleek Sistrunk, 22 of 308 North Empire Street, drove the vehicle over a curb as it left the complex and had a rear brake light bulb out, prompting a traffic stop. As the officer approached, rear-seat passenger Jevaun Brown, 25 of 19 South Empire Street, was observed leaning over and shoving his hands under the driver’s seat.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/50335432/

More Than 1,000 Heroin Packets Seized During Butler Township Traffic Stop

English: Map of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania h...

English: Map of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania highlighting Butler Township (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

BUTLER TWP., PA— State police at Hazleton said they recovered 1,073 heroin packets in a plastic shopping bag stuffed under the driver’s seat of a vehicle stopped on state Route 309 early Tuesday morning.

Raheem Harris, 37, of East Orange, New Jersey, was charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, false identification to law enforcement and driving without a license. He was jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $50,000 bail.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/50323393/More-than-1000-heroin-packets-seized

Community Tips, Cooperation Behind Drug Crackdown In Phillipsburg

Map of New Jersey

Map of New Jersey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It started with concerned residents reaching out to police.

It ended with nearly two dozen arrests.

A recent drug crackdown in Phillipsburg and 10-day roundup of alleged dealers and users was a team effort, police Chief James Faulborn said last week. Community members relayed tips and information, authorities followed up with “basic police work” and nearby police departments offered a helping hand.

“It was a collaborative effort with us reaching out to the community and the community responding with information,” he said. “Working together with the community and other law enforcement agencies, we were able to execute search warrants and arrest warrants and take the necessary action.”

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/phillipsburg/index.ssf/2014/09/community_cooperation_behind_d.html

Two Charged After Police Raid Wilkes-Barre Home

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wilkes-Barre police say they seized major amounts of heroin, cocaine and marijuana when they raided a Sullivan Street home that was protected by a pistol loaded with “cop killer bullets.”

Larry “TAZ” Hayes, 26, and Disean Kendricks, 24, both of 70 Sullivan St., are charged with drug trafficking and weapons possession offenses, police said.

The Wilkes-Barre Police Anti Crime Unit and Wilkes-Barre Drug Task Force raided their home at about 6 a.m. Saturday after an investigation revealed they had been dealing heroin and cocaine out of the house, police said.

Though both men were armed, they were arrested without incident, police said.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/two-charged-after-police-raid-w-b-home-1.1741657

Cops: Man Hands Them Pot At Sherman Hills, Leads Them On High-Speed Chase

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WILKES-BARRE — A New Jersey man faces a slew of charges and bail of $250,000 after he allegedly led police on a high-speed chase from the Sherman Hills apartment complex following a traffic stop.

Officers conducted a traffic stop on Bradley Ercel Burgess, of Bergin Avenue, Jersey City, New Jersey, just after 7 p.m. Wednesday near Coal Street and Logan Court and detected a strong odor of marijuana coming from Burgess’ vehicle, police said.

Police asked Burgess what he was doing in Sherman Hills, and he told them he was visiting a friend. When asked if he had any marijuana in the vehicle, Burgess allegedly handed an officer a cigar packet and stated that it contained a small bag of marijuana, police said.

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/50184160/Man-arrested-after-high-speed-chase-from-Sherman-Hills#.U_iwJPRDsxI

Blame For Blighted Properties In Monessen Reaches Across Globe

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Westmoreland ...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Westmoreland County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mayor Lou Mavrakis drove slowly through Monessen, block by block, pointing out one vacant, blighted building after another in the city of 7,700 along the Monongahela River.

“That belongs to me,” he said, pointing to a house with a collapsing roof that has become the responsibility of the city and the mayor.

Tax records show the building is one of 264 structures and lots in the city that have been abandoned by their owners. More than 26 percent of the city’s 734 blighted properties are owned by people from 24 states and five foreign countries, beyond the legal reach of Monessen officials.

“It’s almost impossible to get in touch with these owners,” Mavrakis said.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/westmoreland/6562693-74/property-owners-monessen#ixzz3ACc2e4tx
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Council Members: Sherman Hills Owners Have No Plans To Increase Security

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The company managing the Sherman Hills apartment complex has no plans now to put up a guard house or around-the-clock armed security, said city council members this week.

Council members Bill Barrett and George Brown met in July with John VanMetre, director of property management at The Aspen Companies, a sister company of Treetop Development, the facility’s owners. Barrett and Brown are members of a group organized by Congressman Matt Cartwright, D-Moosic, looking at living conditions at the apartments.

“We have recommendations, not just cameras and fencing. I think we do need a guard system and to have people there who are monitors. I feel that’s something that’s necessary,” Brown said.

“The bottom line is I feel there’s a need to more closely monitor who’s there,” Barrett said. “There are problems still occurring, still continuing. I think they need to seriously consider having an armed security presence there to make it a safer place. That should be the objective, to make a safe living place for residents of the development. The only way you can do that is to make sure people who aren’t supposed to be there are not there.”

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/council-members-sherman-hills-owners-have-no-plans-to-increase-security-1.1732933

Heroin, Handguns Seized During Traffic Stop

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

KINGSTON, PA — Police seized a large amount of heroin and two handguns during a traffic stop where one of two men used a state Department of Corrections identification card to identify himself, according to charges filed.

Police said they stopped a Lincoln for heavily tinted windows on Market Street early Thursday morning.

During the stop, an odor of marijuana was detected coming from the car that was rapidly shaking side-to-side due to movements inside the vehicle, police said.

Police said Braemar Omir Parrish, 28, of Allentown, used a state prison card to identify himself.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/50099364/Heroin-handguns-seized-during-traffic-stop#.U-O8efRDsxI

Pittsburgh Police To Step Up Walking Patrols To Help Combat Wave Of Violence

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pittsburgh police will step up patrols in the city’s eastern neighborhoods to combat an uptick in homicides, many of which appear to be drug-related, officials said on Monday.

Homicide detectives were closing in on a suspect in one of several recent shootings in a North Side public housing complex, officials said.

Police Lt. Daniel Herrmann said police know “key actors” in a shooting on Wednesday that killed one man and injured another in the Northview Heights housing complex.

“We need more information to pull people off the street,” Herrmann said. “We know some of the key actors, but we don’t have enough to get a warrant yet.”

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/6556787-74/police-homicides-mcdonald#ixzz39X5C8vda
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Mon Valley Narcotics Probe Leads To Multiple Arrests

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Allegheny County police announced 17 felony arrest warrants were obtained in connection with an eight-month narcotics investigation in the Mon Valley.

Suspects reside in McKeesport, White Oak, Glassport, Clairton, Jefferson Hills and the North Side of Pittsburgh, according to a county police news release.

County detectives made numerous buys of heroin and crack cocaine, resulting in the seizure of 5 12 bricks of heroin, the release stated.

Nine of the 17 suspects were apprehended early on Friday by detectives and officers from the county, McKeesport and White Oak police departments; the other eight remained at-large as of presstime.

Read more: http://triblive.com/neighborhoods/yourmckeesport/yourmckeesportmore/6545601-74/county-police-mckeesport#ixzz39FaD8NZU
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UPDATE: Wilkes-Barre Police Investigate Reported Stabbing At Sherman Hills

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WILKES-BARRE, PA — Police are investigating a reported stabbing Friday night at the crime-plagued Sherman Hills apartment complex in Wilkes-Barre that left the victim in critical condition.

A 911 supervisor said the stabbing was reported at 7:30 this evening at Building 320 on North Empire Court. One male was transported to Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Plains Township, the supervisor said.

According to a release from Wilkes-Barre police, the victim had a severe laceration to his neck and was transported to a local medical facility.

A representative from Sherman Hills ordered members of the news media off the private property shortly after their arrival.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/50070675/UPDATE:-Wilkes-Barre-police-investigate-reported-stabbing-at-Sherman-Hills#.U9z_GfRDsxI

Massive Scranton Bust Highlights Flow Of The Heroin Pipeline

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Given a little more time, Dakeem Booker might have turned 2.6 ounces of heroin into $50,000.

The Lackawanna County Drug Task Force had other plans.

Mr. Booker, 28, of Scranton, was arrested last month at his Palm Street home and charged as a drug dealer. County detectives and members of the state parole office raided his home after a tip, detectives said. They found a digital scale, a revolver and countless wax sleeves stamped “Magoo,” a brand of heroin.

Scranton police have charged 713 people for dealing either heroin or cocaine since 2009, according to uniform crime reporting statistics.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/massive-bust-highlights-flow-of-the-heroin-pipeline-1.1722278

Web Petition Wants To Stop Sherman Hills Funding

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A post on the White House’s We the People website petitions the Obama Administration to cease Section 8 subsidies to the Sherman Hills apartment complex.

But before it earns a response from White House staff, it first must gather 100,000 signatures by Aug 15.

Readers on the Times Leader’s Facebook page were quick to respond when asked if they would sign the petition. Many readers commented emphatically that they would sign. However, the petition only gained 5 signatures in the same time period.

One commenter suggested tenants receive criminal background checks and drug tests.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/news/1541121/Web-petition-wants-to-stop-Sherman-Hills-funding

Wilkes-Barre Pair Wanted On Drug Trafficking Charges

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Two Wilkes-Barre residents free on bail on charges that they attacked police officers are now wanted on felony drug trafficking charges after police found nearly 1,800 packets of heroin at their Scott Street home, according to court documents.

The arrest warrants stem from a pair of raids conducted earlier this month on homes on Scott Street in which city and state police seized 1,779 packets of heroin worth $35,580, a .45-caliber Gock pistol and $9,000 in cash.

Police say three people were involved in the drug ring: Christian Caraballo, 29, of 1164 Scott St., and two of his girlfriends: Benita Placencio, 39, of the same address; and Juleisy Bienida Abreu-Peralta, 20, of 960 Scott St.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/w-b-pair-wanted-on-drug-trafficking-charges-1.1721399

Wilkes-Barre Police Chief: Sherman Hills Cameras Not Working

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WILKES-BARRE, PA — Surveillance cameras in Sherman Hills did not record Tuesday’s shooting at the troubled apartment complex when two men were seriously injured, city police Chief Gerard Dessoye said Thursday.

Dessoye said the camera system, he believed, was “not fixed” as pledged by the complex’s former owner, Sherman Hills Realty Inc.

“(Cameras) couldn’t provide any details about the shooting,” Dessoye said, noting he has not seen any security enhancements at the apartment complex besides the installation of a chain link fence.

U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Moosic, stated in a news release that Treetop Development, which purchased the apartment complex from Sherman Hills Realty earlier this year, “repaired all cameras.”

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/1536916/Dessoye:-Few-security-improvements-at-Sherman-Hills

Barrett Questions Security Measures After Latest Sherman Hills Shooting

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WILKES-BARRE, PA — The shootings of two men Tuesday night at the Sherman Hills apartment complex raised questions for the chairman of city council about security measures to be undertaken by the new owner.

Bill Barrett on Wednesday said he would contact the owners for an update on how their plans compared to those of the previous owner that promised “large-scale improvements” worth $100,000 after a federal report found lax oversight exposed tenants to life-threatening security issues at the 344-unit complex.

The shootings happened less than a week after a city official said the owners were not planning on having “24-7” security at the complex that’s been the scene of violent crimes and a fatal shooting last November.

Police said two black men in their 20s were shot during an attempted robbery. The men were found in building 328 at approximately 11:30 p.m., police said.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/1534466/Barrett-questions-security-measures-at-Sherman-Hills

Related stories:

Another shooting at Sherman Hills occurred on Wednesday night

http://timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/1536765/Another-shooting-at-Sherman-Hills-occurred-on-Wednesday-night

 

Four Nabbed In Canton Heroin Delivery Bust

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Bradford County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Bradford County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Suspect says she supplies ‘all of the kids,’ police say

TROY, PA – Four Canton residents have been jailed following a heroin delivery bust in the Canton area by the Bradford County Drug Task Force.

One of the women who was charged, Barbara Kennedy of Canton, told a police officer that she was the biggest heroin dealer in the area and supplied “all of the kids in the area,” according to court papers filed with the office of Magisterial District Judge Jonathan Wilcox of Troy.

Those charged include the following individuals:

- Barbara Christine Kennedy, 45, of East Tioga Street, Canton

- Samantha Lynn Laudenslager, 22, of East Tioga Street, Canton

- Thomas Rice, 58, of North Center Street, Canton

- Bobbi Rice, no age given, of North Center Street, Canton

Read more: http://thedailyreview.com/news/four-nabbed-in-canton-heroin-delivery-bust-1.1713141

Three Birdsboro Residents Arrested In Drug Ring Investigation

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

HARRISBURG, PA — A joint investigation between state and local officials uncovered a large-scale drug ring that spanned three counties.

The results of the year-long “Operation Tourniquet” lead to the arrests of “48 mid- and street-level drug dealers,” a press release from the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office said.

The dealers, the release said, “were part of two organizations, who were loosely tied and responsible for distributing drugs throughout at least three counties including Berks, Lancaster, and Schuylkill.”

Three Birdsboro residents where among the alleged “street-level” dealers who were arrested.

Read more: http://www.dailylocal.com/general-news/20140624/three-birdsboro-residents-arrested-in-drug-ring-investigation

Our Thoughts On Last Night’s Pottstown Borough Council Meeting

Editor’s comments:  Below I have reprinted the text from Katy Jackson’s heartfelt speech with my thoughts.  Love her or hate her, Katy cannot be accused of taking the path of least resistance.  The time Katy has put into trying to make Pottstown a better place is enormous.  There are plenty of other things she could be doing with her time.  Katy gets no pay, Mr. Toroney yet she puts in countless hours working toward the betterment of Pottstown and has plenty to show for her efforts, it in terms of accomplishments. Yes, I know you work full-time.

It angered me that Katy was interrupted and told to “wrap it up” at only 4 minutes.  It showed a complete lack of respect and civility.  Mrs. Jackson is WELL AWARE of the time limit for citizen comments.  She was reading a prepared text, which she timed.  That fact that she was the ONLY person interrupted tells me her words hit too close to home.  The truth hurts. 

All this blustering and obfuscation needs to stop, along with blaming the taxpayers.  It pisses them off as you were told last night.  I hope you heard that loud and clear. 

Mr. Toroney, you know being a Councilor is time-consuming, yet you keep running for re-election.  You know it pays virtually nothing, yet you keep running for re-election.  Either the job is your joy and sacred duty or a time-sucking pain in the ass, it cannot be both.

After introducing herself as a representative of the Citizens Action Committee of Pottstown, Katy said:

Mr. Toroney, you’ve taken the path of least resistance in your lengthy term (15 ½ years) on council.  Art Markman, PhD, a professor of Psychology at the University of Texas and Director of the Program in the Human Dimensions of Organizations, writes ‘the path of least resistance’ asThe psychologist Tom Ward points out that when we think about anything, we follow the path of least resistance.  Without realizing it, we instantly and automatically categorize every situation we see based on our previous experience.  So, despite our best efforts to do something bold and new, our memory drives us back to things tried and true.  Our efforts at creativity are thwarted before they get on track.

Several years ago, you made a comment to a council person that “you don’t get paid enough”.   Yet, you have vied to retain your seat and you’ve accepted the position of Council President, more than once.  Have you failed to understand that serving as an elected official is not about the money?  Or is it…?  Mr. Toroney, if being on council is your “sacred duty” as you professed last night, then may I suggest you actually do something.  Last night would have been the perfect opportunity for a list of accomplishments that you, as Council President, achieved which propelled Pottstown forward.

Given that the process was in place and, taxpayers covered the costs to seek a qualified outside borough manager, you took the path of least resistance.  This is the $120,000 question.  If Pottstown Borough government operated in the real world, a more experienced person would be Borough Manager and making a more reasonable salary considering the size of the local government.  Also, a more experienced person would have realized if you spend more money than you bring in, you create a deficit.  There is no “extra” money in the budget to reward our friends with promotions and raises, to buy a new car, to hand out iPads, or spend money on consultants that we planned on ignoring all along.  Taxpayers are smarter than you think.

When it was time to select a new Police Chief for Pottstown, you made no pretense about choosing the path of least resistance.  Again, in the real world, people are held to metrics and performance goals.  I supervised people for over 20 years and wrote countless performance appraisals.  Employees were ranked according to their achievements.  If you failed to meet goals such as quantity and quality, your performance review reflected this.  Your raise, or lack of a raise was dependent upon your results.  Your customer service skills, ability to work and play well with others, your attendance, punctuality etc… were all measured.  When my people missed their goals, I heard about it from my boss.  Had I told my V.P. that my goal was to increase productivity by 1% I would have most likely been demoted, once he stopped laughing.

Each month when the expenditures for the borough are approved by council do you read the line items and scrutinize the spending or…do you take the path of least resistance?  I will say Pottstown’s finances improved greatly due to Jason Bobst, Janice Lee and Dan Weand.  However, if we allow the borough manager spend money we don’t have, whose fault would that be?  In the real world, his supervisor.  In Pottstown’s case, that would be borough council, headed up by El Presidente, Steve Toroney.  The borough manager needs supervision, sorry.  Inaction makes you complicit when overspending occurs.  Just say no.

Do you believe that upper management requires exorbitant salaries, top of the line new vehicles, iPads for officials, costly analysis of the codes department, bullet proof surround for upper management while taxpayers and residents of Pottstown watch in disbelief as our community deteriorates before our eyes. Diligent public employees struggle to do their best with chaos but others could care less about their jobs.  You have taken the path of least resistance, Mr. Toroney.  See above commentary…this also falls under reigning in your employees.

You appointed an ad hoc committee to vet prospective engineer firms who ultimately chose Remington, Veronica and Beach, in March 2012. It is evidenced that you were aware of impropriety in that process yet, you did not speak up.  You went on to support a hasty, questionable expenditure of unbudgeted tax payer money of around $33,000 for an analysis of the codes department by Remington, Veronica and Beach.  Again, I ask, was this the path of least resistance?   This debacle is just unbelievable.  No words.

I believe this poor, struggling community cannot afford you, Mr. Toroney. Your selective interest and support of worthy organizations in Pottstown appears to be based on your personal approval or disapproval of the individuals that comprise their groups.  Despite your disdain, these organizations forge ahead in the challenging roles they have accepted to make Pottstown a better place for all residents.   Why has it been difficult for you to offer encouragement and take an interest in your community?  In this, you have again chosen a path that may have been easy for you but you have made it difficult for many others.   Mr. Toroney’s irrational fear of a certain non-profit organization in Pottstown is just maddening.  This organization can actually list substantial accomplishments that have made Pottstown a better place.  This mentality is very junior high school.  Stop the madness and grow up.

You have failed to advocate for the taxpayers and good citizens of Pottstown and in doing so, you condone the rising crime and disintegration of our community.  Rather than using your position, as Council President, to communicate with Montgomery County and State officials, to keep the concerns of this community in the forefront of their decision-making, you have engaged in conspiracy theories about the Counties intentions toward Pottstown.  And we have been further isolated in our efforts to revitalize.  Pottstown’s potential is enormous.  As I drove down High Street last night from McDonald’s to borough hall I remembered what drew me to live in Pottstown all those years ago.  I like towns better than “burbs”.  I like the hustle and bustle, the diversity, the architecture, the history etc…  When I first moved to Pottstown in 1983 I lived in Valley View Apartments in North Coventry Township.  Less than two years later I moved into the borough and lived on the 200 block of Walnut Street, followed by the 100 block of King Street, the 1400 block of Queen Street and the 900 block of Hale Street.  I CHOSE to live in Pottstown.  Sadly, in 2012 I CHOSE to move out of Pottstown because of crime, blight and the cost of living. 

We’re asking you tonight to step down from service to this community so that an “individual” among you, that council deems qualified, can pick up the pieces, and lead. We desperately need real leaders in Pottstown.   Lead or get out-of-the-way, Mr. Toroney.

Mr. Toroney are you proud of what Pottstown has become?  John Potts is rolling over in his grave on a daily basis over what has been done to his town. 

It’s not too late to save Pottstown but the residents need to start driving the bus and stop being taken for a ride.  Power to the Pottstown People!

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