Pittston Township Fires Police Chief, Doesn’t Give A Reason

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

The Pittston Township Board of Supervisors fired police Chief Robert Avvisato without offering explanation or naming a replacement Friday.

Vice Chairwoman Barbara Attardo and Treasurer Steven Rinaldi, the former chief, voted to fire Avvisato, while Chairman Joseph Adams opposed the move at a brief special meeting Friday morning.

Avvisato, a retired state police corporal, is accused of creating a hostile work environment since he took command in January 2013. He is set to go to arbitration with the township over the matter and denies the allegations.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/news/50029456/Pittston-Township-fires-police-chief-doesnt-give-a-reason

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

DA Announces Chester County’s Biggest Ever Drug Bust

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County

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

WEST CHESTER, PA — Law enforcement officials gathered at the Chester County District Attorney’s Office Wednesday to announce dozens ofarrests in what officials called the largest drug ring prosecution in the county’s history.

Forty-four people were arrested and 12 more are wanted on outstanding warrants in what authorities dubbed “Operation Telaraña,” a year-long multi-agency probe targeting a major cocaine trafficking network with ties to a dangerous Mexican drug cartel.

Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan led a press conference Wednesday morning that included members of local police departments, state police, a regional drug enforcement task force, and federal agentsfrom the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Salvadore Lemus, 65, was arrested on May 1 after a lengthy investigation identified him as the leader of a major cocaine trafficking network with ties to a violent Mexican drug cartel, according to police. Authorities said his 23-year-old son, Francisco Lemus, acted as Lemus’ lieutenant. A nephew, Mario Hernandez Garcia, was also arrested.

Read more: http://www.dailylocal.com/general-news/20140528/photo-gallery-da-announces-countys-biggest-ever-drug-bust

Enhanced by Zemanta

Five Years After Opening, Crime From Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem Isn’t The Factor Some Feared

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton C...

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

Bethlehem police Chief Mark DiLuzio remembers the critics.

Debates raged about whether Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem would be a benefit or detriment to the city and its surrounding communities. DiLuzio, then a police lieutenant, gave in to his detective spirit and researched the subject.

Much of what he found indicated casinos were not a hotbed of criminal activity.

Five years later, DiLuzio is now chief of police — and he’s happy to report that he was right.

Read more:  http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/breaking-news/index.ssf/2014/05/crime_not_a_major_factor_five.html

Enhanced by Zemanta

Women Admit To Meth Production In Pottsville, Police Say

View of Pottsville, Pennsylvania.

View of Pottsville, Pennsylvania. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Two women were in jail Tuesday on charges they were producing methamphetamine in a Pottsville home.

Margaret Ney, 61, of 218 N. 12th St., Pottsville, was arraigned on felony charges of possession with intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance, conspiracy, risking a catastrophe and liquefied ammonia gas-precursors and chemicals, along with misdemeanor offenses of possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance.

Jada McClure, 28, of 626 Wyoming St., Box 142, Tuscarora, was arraigned on felony charges of possession with intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance and liquefied ammonia gas-precursors and chemicals; and misdemeanor charges of possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance.

Pottsville police Chief Richard F. Wojciechowsky said the arrests result from an active investigation officers were involved in, both criminal and for city code violations, including no electricity and no running water, at Ney’s home

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/women-admit-to-meth-production-in-pottsville-police-say-1.1686377

Enhanced by Zemanta

Five People Arrested In Buy/Bust Drug Stings In Wilkes-Barre

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE, PA — City police and state police troopers with the Vice and Narcotics Unit arrested five people in unrelated buy-bust drug stings on Wednesday.

According to the criminal complaints:

• Johnathan M. Simmons, 23, of Culver Street, Forty Fort, was charged with selling heroin in the area of North Grant Street and Amber Lane at about 12:55 p.m., which is in a school zone. Police had to stun Simmons with a Taser when he allegedly attempted to run away.

Simmons was charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and criminal use of communication facility. He was jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $50,000 bail.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/1384043/Five-people-arrested-in-buy-bust-drug-operations-in-Wilkes-Barre

Enhanced by Zemanta

Canton Man’s Bail At $1.5 Million After Police Chase

Map of Bradford County, Pennsylvania, USA with...

Map of Bradford County, Pennsylvania, USA with township and municipal bondaries. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

TROY, PA – A Canton man was jailed in lieu of $1.5 million bail after he fled from police and crashed his truck Saturday in Canton, according to Magisterial District Judge Jonathan Wilcox of Troy.

Wilcox said John Edward Gundaker, 44, of West Main Street, Canton, had a preliminary arraignment at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, and was unable to post bail. Gundaker faces a preliminary hearing at 1 p.m. May 7 before Wilcox.

According to court papers, Gundaker is charged with fleeing or attempting to elude officer, a felony of the third degree. In addition, he is charged with resisting arrest, a misdemeanor of the second degree; simple assault – attempt, a misdemeanor of the second degree; and two summary counts of reckless driving. In addition, he is charged with a violation of “driving vehicle at safe speed,” a summary offense; and a disorderly conduct offense.

According to an affidavit, Canton police officer Joshua Heckman was contacted by the Bradford County Emergency Operations Center (EOC), and was asked to respond to a domestic disturbance at Gundaker’s apartment. The EOC reported that the incident was called in by a man, who was on the phone at the time with the victim in the incident, Desiree Rios, no age or address given, when she was at Gundaker’s apartment and a fight broke out between Rios and Gundaker.

Read more: http://thedailyreview.com/news/man-s-bail-at-1-5-million-after-police-chase-1.1676619

Enhanced by Zemanta

Heroin, Gun Seized By Police In Wilkes-Barre

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE, PA — City police Anti-Crime Unit and state police Vice and Narcotics seized about 200 heroin packets, a loaded handgun with an altered serial number and a loaded rifle when they arrested three people from Philadelphia on drug trafficking offenses on Thursday.

Authorities said Marissa A. Ramos, 23, Jorge Esay Mojica, 23, and Bryan Mojica, 19, in a buy-bust operation on Scott Street.

A 9mm handgun and a semi-automatic rifle were found during the arrest. The rifle was reported stolen to the state police at Shickshinny.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news/1336598/Heroin-gun-seized-by-police

Enhanced by Zemanta

Recent Task Force Sweep Focused On Those Who Committed Crimes In Wilkes-Barre

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

The Luzerne County Sheriff’s Office released new information on the fugitive sweep on Wednesday that picked up 20 individuals with outstanding warrants in Luzerne County.

The Advanced Tactical Anti-Crime Unit – the newly formed task force comprised of local, state and federal law enforcement – conducted its second roundup, picking up individuals on warrants for everything from driving under the influence and retail theft to burglary and simple assault.

Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis said this sweep was supposed to focus not just on arresting those from Wilkes-Barre, but those who committed crimes in Wilkes-Barre but live outside of the city.

Out of the 20 people picked up, 12 of them were arrested in Wilkes-Barre, according to the sheriff’s office.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/recent-task-force-sweep-focused-on-those-who-committed-crimes-in-w-b-1.1659093

Enhanced by Zemanta

Police Cracking Down On Aggressive Drivers Across Pennsylvania

Map of Pennsylvania, showing major cities and ...

Map of Pennsylvania, showing major cities and roads (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

MONTGOMERY TWP, PA — Along Route 309 in Montgomery Township on Monday afternoon, lights from police cruisers flashed next to an orange “Aggressive Driving Enforcement” sign as every few minutes, a vehicle was directed to pull over by a contingent of township cops who were doling out citations for speeding, tailgating or other traffic infractions spotted moments earlier by officers stationed a half-mile up the road. It was part of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s ramped-up efforts — which began on Monday and lasts until May 4 — to crack down on a spectrum of illegal and dangerous driving habits in a big way across the state.

Boyertown police announced their aggressive driving details will continue through Sept. 14.

“We’re here today to raise awareness about the dangers of aggressive driving, and to target those drivers who are causing far too many crashes on the roadways,” said PennDOT spokesman Lou Belmonte at a Monday morning press conference inside the Montgomery Township Building, where he was joined by law enforcement officers and members of the Montgomery County Health Department and Buckle Up PA to announce the first wave of the PennDOT-funded 2014 Pennsylvania Aggressive Driving Enforcement and Education Project).

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140325/police-cracking-down-on-aggressive-drivers-across-pa

Enhanced by Zemanta

Texting Citations In Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Area Drop

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metro...

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Statistical Area in the northeastern part of the of . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Texting while driving citations for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre metro area dropped 29 percent in one year, but the region still ranks 8th-worst in the state, according to data from compiled by the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, the Philadelphia police and the U.S. Census Bureau.

There were 37 citations in Lackawanna, Luzerne and Wyoming counties from March 2013 through February – one citation fewer than the Lancaster metro area, though Scranton/Wilkes-Barre metro area has 36,806 more residents, There were 52 citations from March 2012 to Feb. 2013, making the metro area the 6th-worst in the state in 2013. The Philadelphia and Pittsburgh metro areas maintained the one and two spots respectively, though their populations are far greater.

No one reason can be attributed for the year’s decline in citations, area law enforcement officials said. An optimist might attribute part of it to increased awareness in the dangers of texting while driving, Lackawanna County Deputy District Attorney Robert Klein said. One reason may be a reduction of crashes caused by texting. Another reason could be as simple as fewer drivers getting caught.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/texting-citations-in-w-b-scranton-area-drop-1.1655025

Enhanced by Zemanta

Tamaqua Woman’s Body Found In Jim Thorpe

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Carbon County

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

The body of a Tamaqua woman was discovered Saturday morning by firefighters in Jim Thorpe working to extinguish a brush fire, a relative of the woman said Sunday night.

State police have called the case a “homicide investigation.”

According to Donald R. Serfass of Tamaqua, it was the body of his niece, Angela Serfass Steigerwalt, 35.

“She grew up in Tamaqua and went to Tamaqua high school. She worked at Kraft Foods down in the Lehigh Valley. She worked in inventory control. She was very clean cut. She supported animal rights causes, anything having to do with the welfare of animals,” Serfass said.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/tamaqua-woman-s-body-found-in-jim-thorpe-1.1627795

Hazleton Man Charged In Fatal Shooting Outside Bar

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

HAZLETON, PA — Police charged Terrence Clarke in a fatal shooting early Sunday morning witnessed by state troopers who later captured him after a foot chase.

The victim, Garey S. Cox, 45, of East Eighth Street, Hazleton, later died at Lehigh Valley Hospital Cedar Crest in Allentown.

Clarke, 26, of North Locust Street, Hazleton, wounded another man in the shooting the occurred around 2:10 a.m. outside Shaker’s Bar at 711 W. Diamond Ave., police said. The injured man was hospitalized, police said. His name and condition were not available.

Read more:  http://timesleader.com/news/local-news/1168061/Hazleton-man-charged-in-fatal-shooting-outside-bar

Enhanced by Zemanta

Potent Heroin, Painkiller Mix ‘All Over Pittsburgh’

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

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

The deadliest batch of heroin to hit Western Pennsylvania in more than 25 years killed as many as 13 people during the past week as authorities scrambled to warn users.

The unknown distributors of the drug apparently mixed in the powerful painkiller fentanyl and sold it in stamp bags marked with the brand name Theraflu — the same as the over-the-counter cold medication. The potent combination is causing overdoses and deaths in Allegheny and Westmoreland counties.

“I’m only at the very beginning of investigating the number of deaths,” said Dr. Karl Williams, Allegheny County‘s medical examiner. His office identified 13 people ranging in age from 25 to 51 whose deaths were believed to be connected to the batch. In four cases, authorities found bags with the Theraflu stamp with the victims.

“It’s all over Pittsburgh. It’s all over Allegheny County. It’s all over the surrounding counties. It’s a major regional issue,” said Williams, who with officials in Westmoreland County raised alarms about the drug on Friday.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/5484258-74/heroin-county-deaths#ixzz2rcfvDBra
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Enhanced by Zemanta

Death Of Woman Found In Clay Township Ruled A Homicide

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

The death of a woman who was found Sunday in a Clay Township wildlife area has been ruled a homicide.

Lancaster County Coroner Dr. Stephen Diamantoni said Monday afternoon that the woman died of “substantial trauma” to her body.

He declined to elaborate on the trauma.

The coroner said dental records are being used to identify the woman, who had been dead in Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area for “at least days.”

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/943494_Death-of-woman-found-in-Clay-Township-ruled-a-homicide.html#ixzz2qJPFC1nd

Enhanced by Zemanta

Police Dismantle Meth Lab In Lancaster County Mobile Home

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

State police learned that a methamphetamine lab was operating out of a mobile home in Paradise from an unexpected source.

Somebody living in the home.

A special team of state troopers dismantled the meth lab Sunday, and detained and questioned people they encountered who were leaving the home’s property.

Police went to the home, at 197 Cherry Hill Road, just off Route 741, at about 4:20 p.m., after getting a tip from a tenant who lived there.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/943495_Police-dismantle-meth-lab-in-Lancaster-County-mobile-home.html#ixzz2qJDV1upM

Enhanced by Zemanta

Authorities Find Body Inside Burned SUV

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

FORTY FORT, PA – When Bill Bruch first saw the smoke rising, he knew something wasn’t right.

The 45-year-old Kingston resident who works at Edwards Garden Center Landscaping walked toward the smoke and realized it was coming from a burning Jeep Liberty that had stopped at the far end of a lot used to store dirt and mulch.

“I had a bad feeling,” Bruch said. “I got sick to my stomach as soon as I saw the car up in flames like that.”

The bad feeling proved prescient a short time later when a police officer broke open the driver’s side window and found a woman dead in the seat.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/authorities-find-body-inside-burned-suv-1.1599784

After Philly’s Running Of The Santas, A Tragic Death

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

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

HE LAST SUIT Adam Herr wore was an outward expression of the ideals he embodied – joy, generosity and love.

The last suit Adam Herr wore was a Santa Claus suit.

Herr, 24, of Lebanon, Pa., was in Philadelphia for the annual Running of the Santas on Saturday when somehow, about 10:25 p.m., he found himself in costume and on foot on Interstate 95 South near the I-676 interchange.

Motorist Augustine Bangura, 27, of Philadelphia, was also on I-95 at the same spot at the same time, State Police said. Apparently he did not see Herr or his red suit.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20131209_After_Philly_s_Running_of_the_Santas__a_tragedy.html#Soa0zLfdrT4BTO5b.99

Winter Storm Causes At Least One Death; Drops 10 Inches In S. Jersey

The region’s first serious winter storm – one that took forecasters by surprise with its intensity – has caused at least one death in the region.

A motorist was struck and killed on the Pennsylvania Turnpike shortly after noon when he got out of his car after a minor crash, a spokesman for the turnpike commission said. Detours between the Downingtown and Morgantown exits of the turnpike are ongoing.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia International Airport is experiencing substantial delays as the day’s heavy snow – up to 10 inches in some parts of South Jersey – is expected to transition to sleet and then plain rain by morning.

A winter storm warning will be in effect until midnight, the National Weather Service said Sunday afternoon.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/20131209_Snow_has_begun__icy_mix_to_follow.html#BkXWkQX6eWGAtwOE.99

Woman Found Dead Inside Nanticoke Home

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

NANTICOKE, PA — The body of a 97-year-old woman was found Friday inside her East Grand Street home where she lived for decades. Authorities are treating her death as a homicide.

Police Chief William Shultz called the investigation “a major case” with the state police at Wyoming, Luzerne County Detectives and Coroner’s Office involved.

Authorities identified the woman as Gertrude Price, who lived alone.

Trooper Martin Connors said Price was last seen at about 10:20 p.m. Thursday and neighbors reported seeing lights on inside her house at about 11 p.m., which neighbors said was “unusual” for that time of night.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/1020433/Woman-found-dead-inside-Nanticoke-home