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

Douglass (Montgomery) Official IDs Fellow Supervisor As Subject Of D.A. Investigation

Location of Douglass Township in Montgomery County

Location of Douglass Township in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

DOUGLASS TOWNSHIP (MONTGOMERY COUNTY) — The name of the township supervisor being investigated by Montgomery County Detectives was made public this week — by another supervisor.

At the May 19 board of supervisors meeting, Vice Chairman Anthony Kuklinski said publicly that fellow Supervisor Fred Ziegler is the subject of the county investigation first reported in the Feb. 25 edition of The Mercury.

In February, Township Solicitor Paul Bauer confirmed that the township had referred a matter concerning one of the elected supervisors to the Montgomery County Detective Bureau, but refused to name the supervisor.

Bauer did not return phone messages left at his office Thursday and Friday.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140523/douglass-mont-official-ids-fellow-supervisor-as-subject-of-da-investigation

Enhanced by Zemanta

Attorney General Kathleen Kane, Hazleton Police Chief Hail Success

HAZLETON, PA — Attorney General Kathleen Kane and Police Chief Frank DeAndrea pointed to the successes of Kane’s Mobile Street Crime Unit on Wednesday and asked residents of Hazleton and across the commonwealth to help the success continue.

At the urging of state Sen. John Yudichak to address violent drug-related crime plaguing Northeastern Pennsylvania, Kane organized the Region X Intensive Mobile Proactive Anti-Crime Team — IMPACT — task force and deployed it to Hazleton in September to dismantle gang-run drug trafficking networks.

The approximately 20-member team, composed of federal, state, county and municipal law enforcement officers, racked up more than 120 arrests and seized about 35,000 packets of heroin, quantities of crack cocaine, numerous vehicles, handguns, rifles, an assault weapon and thousands of dollars in cash, with many of the items on display at a press conference at City Hall on Wednesday.

Yudichak, D-Plymouth Township, noted that a 2011 report by the U.S. Department of Justice detailed the foothold that drug-trafficking organizations had established in the Hazleton area and that branched off throughout Luzerne and surrounding counties.

Read more:  http://timesleader.com/news/local-news/1206626/Kane-Hazleton-chief-hail-success

Enhanced by Zemanta

Pennsylvania Woman Admits Craigslist Killing In Interview

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northumberlan...

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

SUNBURY, PA (AP) – A Pennsylvania woman charged along with her newlywed husband in the murder of a man they met through Craigslist admitted to the slaying in a jailhouse interview with a newspaper and said she has killed more than 20 others across the country, claims police said they are investigating.

In an interview with the Daily Item in Sunbury, Pa., 19-year-old Miranda Barbour said she wants to plead guilty to killing Troy LaFerrara in November. She also said in the interview that she has killed at least 22 other people from Alaska to North Carolina in the last six years as part of her involvement in a satanic cult.

“I feel it is time to get all of this out. I don’t care if people believe me. I just want to get it out,” Barbour told the newspaper for a story published Saturday night.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20140216_ap_c3ff99fc4eb54cb6a30ca4bb31f44c24.html#fGKigjOtU384Zp0E.99

Enhanced by Zemanta

Pennsylvania Ranks 4th In Black Homicide Victims, Latest Stats Show

Map of Pennsylvania

Map of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

PENNSYLVANIA ranked fourth nationwide in black homicide victimization in 2011, according to an organization that ranked the state second in the previous year.

The Washington, D.C.-based Violence Policy Center, which released the new study Thursday, said the latest figures show that Pennsylvania had 29.02 homicides per 100,000 black civilians in 2011.

A study released by the same nonprofit group last year ranked Pennsylvania second in 2010. The state was ranked third in 2009.

In 2011 — the latest year for which FBI statistics are available — blacks accounted for half of all homicide victims nationwide, yet represented 13 percent of the U.S. population.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/Pa_ranks_4th_in_black_homicide_victims_latest_stats_show.html#SIwjH48fKP1kXpBA.99

Enhanced by Zemanta

Officials Say Heroin A Huge Problem In Pa.

English: Modified IM/IV syringe used for "...

English: Modified IM/IV syringe used for “plugging” heroin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

HARRISBURG — Heroin is a growing epidemic in Pennsylvania, and Luzerne County is no exception.

State police Commissioner Frank Noonan told the state House Judiciary Committee this week that the drug is dangerous because users become adjusted to the high it produces. As a result, users have to inject more of the drug, which leads to a higher risk of overdose.

He said users will also typically mix the drug with others in an attempt to achieve the same high.

The Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee held a public hearing to discuss the heroin epidemic this week. Afterward, committee member state Rep. Tarah Toohil provided data on the number of heroin deaths in Luzerne County. So far this year, 20 people have died form using heroin with other drugs — users often take multiple drugs. There were 31 deaths in 2012.

Read m0re: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/1001824/Officials-say-heroin-a-huge-problem-in-Pa.

Reading Taking Aim At The Drug Trade

Editor’s note:  Dear Attorney General Kane.  Please zero in on Pottstown (18 miles from Reading).  It is overrun with drug dealers, Section 8 slumlords and has a very high crime rate.  The police force is overwhelmed.

Reading is one of the portals through which much of Pennsylvania is receiving illegal drugs, and state Attorney General Kathleen Kane has proposed a plan that she says could help stanch the flow.

“The major source of supply into Harrisburg and Lancaster and York is coming from Reading,” Kane said during an interview with the Reading Eagle at her office in Harrisburg.

Nearing the midway point of her first year in elective office, she said she viewed illegal drugs as the top issue for her in Berks County.  Other pressing issues include child sex predators and consumer protection.  Kane previously worked as a Lackawanna County prosecutor and as an attorney.

Supplies of crack, PCP, heroin or marijuana come to Reading from places such as Arizona, Illinois and New York, with the original major source being Mexico, Kane said.  In Reading, the drugs are repackaged into street-sale quantities and sent out to other parts of Pennsylvania.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=485005

President Obama’s Dragnet

With his family by his side, Barack Obama is s...

With his family by his side, Barack Obama is sworn in as the 44th president of the United States by Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts, Jr. in Washington, D.C., Jan. 20, 2009. More than 5,000 men and women in uniform are providing military ceremonial support to the presidential inauguration, a tradition dating back to George Washington’s 1789 inauguration. VIRIN: 090120-F-3961R-919 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Within hours of the disclosure that federal authorities routinely collect data on phone calls Americans make, regardless of whether they have any bearing on a counterterrorism investigation, the Obama administration issued the same platitude it has offered every time President Obama has been caught overreaching in the use of his powers: Terrorists are a real menace and you should just trust us to deal with them because we have internal mechanisms (that we are not going to tell you about) to make sure we do not violate your rights.

Those reassurances have never been persuasive — whether on secret warrants to scoop up a news agency’s phone records or secret orders to kill an American suspected of terrorism — especially coming from a president who once promised transparency and accountability.

The administration has now lost all credibility on this issue. Mr. Obama is proving the truism that the executive branch will use any power it is given and very likely abuse it. That is one reason we have long argued that the Patriot Act, enacted in the heat of fear after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks by members of Congress who mostly had not even read it, was reckless in its assignment of unnecessary and overbroad surveillance powers.

Based on an article in The Guardian published Wednesday night, we now know that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency used the Patriot Act to obtain a secret warrant to compel Verizon’s business services division to turn over data on every single call that went through its system. We know that this particular order was a routine extension of surveillance that has been going on for years, and it seems very likely that it extends beyond Verizon’s business division. There is every reason to believe the federal government has been collecting every bit of information about every American’s phone calls except the words actually exchanged in those calls.

Read more:  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/07/opinion/president-obamas-dragnet.html?hp&_r=0

Woe And Wonder: Surveillance Cameras Were The Key In Boston

It’s been an extraordinary week of fast-moving events — a week of tragedy, tears, anger and fear. Yet the bombs that on Monday shattered the joyful celebration of a storied event, the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring nearly 200, never blew a hole in the social fabric.  Too many helping hands — heroic first responders, brave ordinary citizens — stood ready to hold it together.

Then swiftly followed brilliant police work by the FBI, and other law-enforcement agencies aided immeasurably by the tools of the modern age — surveillance cameras in public spaces and video and photos shot on cell phones and digital devices in the hands of spectators. Those images proved decisive.

By late Thursday, after the FBI released video and photos, the tips were pouring in and the suspects — Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, and his brother Dzhokhar, 19 — were on the run.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/opinion/editorials/woe-and-wonder-surveillance-cameras-were-the-key-in-boston-684246/#ixzz2R17HeZSf

1 Of 2 Boston Bomb Suspects Dead; Suburbs Shut Down

WATERTOWN, Mass. (AP) — Two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing killed an MIT police officer, injured a transit officer in a firefight and threw explosive devices at police during their getaway attempt in a long night of violence that left one of them dead and another still at large Friday, authorities said as the manhunt intensified for a young man described as a dangerous terrorist.

The suspects were identified to The Associated Press as coming from the Russian region near Chechnya, which has been plagued by an Islamic insurgency stemming from separatist wars. A law enforcement intelligence bulletin obtained by the AP identified the surviving bomb suspect as Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, a 19-year-old who had been living in Cambridge, just outside Boston, and said he “may be armed and dangerous.”

Two law enforcement officials told the AP that Tsarnaev and the other suspect, who was not immediately identified, had been living legally in the U.S. for at least one year.

In Boston, still on edge over the attack on the marathon, and its western suburbs, authorities suspended mass transit and urged people to stay indoors as they searched for the remaining suspect, a man seen wearing a white baseball cap on surveillance footage from Monday’s deadly bombing at the marathon finish line.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130419/NEWS04/130419074/1-of-2-boston-bomb-suspects-dead-suburbs-shut-down#full_story

Pittsburgh Officer’s January Memo Alerted Police Command Of Fund Diversion

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 Deputy Chief Paul Donaldson ordered a secret credit union account to be shut down after learning of its existence in January from then-Assistant Chief Regina McDonald, he said Friday night.

The deputy chief confirmed that he has been cooperating with federal investigators probing the flow of funds into the Pittsburgh police bureau‘s personnel and finance office and has been interviewed by the FBI.

In January, Deputy Chief Donaldson said, Assistant Chief McDonald, who is now acting police chief, approached him after being made aware that an officer at police headquarters had written a formal memo documenting concerns about potentially questionable financial practices involving colleagues.

The memo, obtained by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, was dated Jan. 18 from Officer Christie A. Gasiorowski to her supervisor, Sgt. Carol Ehlinger.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/pittsburgh-officers-january-memo-alerted-police-command-of-fund-diversion-678558/#ixzz2N3QmJVuw

Acting Pittsburgh Police Chief McDonald Says Changes Coming To Bureau

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)

Acting Pittsburgh police Chief Regina McDonald said FBI agents interviewed her today and that people can expect to see changes in the bureau within the next week.

Chief McDonald, a 32-year veteran of the force, would not specify what those changes will be or comment on the futures of those working in the office being investigated by the FBI or involved in a side business with former Chief Nate Harper, who resigned Wednesday at the request of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl.

She said her primary goal will be to reestablish the ethics and integrity of the bureau.

“I guess you depend on the integrity of the people you put in various positions,” Chief McDonald said.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news/politics-local/acting-pittsburgh-police-chief-mcdonald-says-changes-coming-to-bureau-676347/#ixzz2LZo4U4jY

Crime Stats For Reading Give Some Solace

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

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

A week before a summit to address crime in Reading and Berks County, District Attorney John T. Adams pointed out that Reading is not on a list of the 100 most dangerous cities in the nation.

“This is good news,” Adams said Friday. “We are happy that we are not on the list of the most dangerous cities. I believe this is a result of the cooperative effort among law enforcement agencies.”

But officials said that does not lessen the need for next week’s meeting because the report from NeighborhoodScout.com indicates that 89 percent of the cities are safer than Reading.

“I do not see this as any great win,” Reading Police Chief William M. Heim said.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=443204

Reading Crime Summit Set For Jan. 18; Corbett Commits

Editor’s note:  This is great news!  We think Mark Flanders needs to be there too since Pottstown’s problems are a result of drugs and crime moving between Reading and Philadelphia.

Months of talk about scheduling a crime summit in Reading culminated Monday afternoon when staffers of Gov. Tom Corbett said he would be available to attend Jan. 18, and local officials immediately set about planning the summit.

Mayor Vaughn D. Spencer said the inability to pin down a date with Corbett had slowed planning.  The original call for the summit was issued in May in a front-page editorial in the Reading Eagle.

“We finally got a date,” Spencer said.

Invitees will include all federal and state lawmakers who represent Berks, county commissioners, city Police Chief William M. Heim, representatives of federal agencies like the FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=434351

Governor Seen As Key To Reading Crime Summit

Editor’s note:  While you are at it, include Pottstown.  The crime rate is just as bad as Reading!

As Berks County residents digest the latest spate of violence in Reading, retailer Albert R. Boscov has taken center stage in the protracted effort to pull together a crime summit.

Boscov said Wednesday that it was crucial for both federal and state officials – preferably Gov. Tom Corbett – to take part in the proposed group discussion of Reading’s crime problems.  He said both U.S. Sens. Bob Casey Jr. and Pat Toomey have agreed to take part and that he was working to secure Corbett’s participation.

“I think he will come,” Boscov said.

A spokeswoman for Corbett said Wednesday night that he had not been invited to a summit but was open to the concept.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=433457

Photographer To Release Shenandoah Documentary This Fall

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Schuylkill County

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

As a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer was on his way to the coal region to scout ideas for a film about working-class America, all hell was breaking loose in Shenandoah.

David Turnley remembered the call he received en route from New York City to Schuylkill County.

“As I was heading to the coal region, a friend of mine called and said, ‘You should go to Shenandoah, Pa., where four of the town’s star sons, all straight-A students and football players, have been charged with killing an undocumented Mexican immigrant,” Turnley recalled. “I thought, ‘Well, I guess I should go to Shenandoah.’ “

He stayed two years, filming, shooting photographs and documenting the events surrounding the beating death of Luis Eduardo Ramirez Zavala.

Read more: http://republicanherald.com/news/photographer-to-release-shenandoah-documentary-this-fall-1.1355046

Former PSU President Spanier Lands Job In National Security

Editor’s note:  Anybody else find this ironic?

Former Penn State University President Graham Spanier, who was forced from office in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal, is working in Washington on a national security project.

A Penn State spokeswoman confirmed on Wednesday that Spanier, who is listed in the university’s online directory as president emeritus, took on the project during a year-long sabbatical from his post as a tenured professor in Penn State’s College of Health and Human Development.

“The project is an effort to continue to bridge the gap between our nation’s national security agencies and other entities,” said Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-psu-graham-spanier-new-job-20120412,0,5217661.story

2010 Crime Stats For City Of Reading And Metro Berks

English: Downtown Reading, Pennsylvania; with ...

Image via Wikipedia

Berks County ranked well this year in a national crime report, even as Reading slipped in the ratings compared to last year.

The Reading metro area, which is all of Berks, was the 235th most dangerous of 353 other U.S. metro areas, meaning only 119 metro areas were determined to have been safer in 2010, according to CQ Press. The metro area ranked 232 last year.

Reading was ranked the 33rd most dangerous U.S. city in the study by CQ Press, which based its work on cities with more than 75,000 residents that reported 2010 crime statistics to the FBI.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=355257

Williamsport Ranks Among 25 Safest Metro Areas In U.S.

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lycoming County

Image via Wikipedia

A recently released report on crime in American cities ranks the city among the 25 safest metropolitan areas in the nation.

CQ Press, an independent publishing company that releases the report each year, ranked the Williamsport metropolitan area, which includes all of Lycoming County, as 21st in the nation out of 354 metropolitan areas.

The statistics compiled by the company are based on the number of crimes, including homicides, rapes, robberies, aggravated assaults, burglaries and motor vehicle thefts, reported to the FBI in 2008.

Read more: http://www.sungazette.com/page/content.detail/id/572032/DA–Rankings-reinforce-statistics-suggesting-crime-trending-downward.html?nav=5011