Wiretap Yields Major Berks County Drug Bust

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

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

For four months, members of Berks County District Attorney John T. Adams’ drug task force eavesdropped on the cellphone conversations of a Pennside resident and others suspected of selling large quantities of cocaine, heroin and marijuana in the county.

The state Superior Court approved Adams’ application for a nonconsensual wiretap in February to listen to the conversations of Robert Sanfiel, 47.

By that time, Adams said Thursday, the detectives had been investigating Sanfiel for six months, but early on didn’t know the size of the operation.

The investigation culminated early Thursday when investigators began a roundup of 25 people accused of being involved in the organization.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=477562

Wilmington, New Castle County Officials Hail New Police Strategy

Map of Delaware

Map of Delaware (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WILMINGTON, DE — As dozens of Wilmington and New Castle County police officers were sworn into adjoining jurisdictions Friday, officials championed a new level of cooperation among law enforcement agencies.

“We have to team up, we have to work together,” county police Chief Elmer Setting said. “And the idea that we’re driving up to an invisible line and turning around is not a good thing. We’ve got to be able to go over those lines.”

Those words might have been a bit of overselling the change, considering state law already allows police to pursue anyone suspected of committing a felony, misdemeanor or motor vehicle code violation anywhere within the state regardless of original jurisdiction.

Even with that in mind, Ken Haas, a professor of criminology and criminal justice at the University of Delaware, believes the move could ease the tribalism and competitiveness often found among law enforcement agencies. That could lead to an increased emphasis on getting the job done instead of confrontations about who should get credit, he said.

Read more: http://www.delawareonline.com/article/20130504/NEWS/305040032/Crossing-lines-public-safety?nclick_check=1

Blair County Representatives Visit Reading

If law enforcement leaders can lay out a clear-cut strategy to reduce drug and gang activity in Reading and Berks County, there is a good chance businesses will be willing to pay for some of it.

That was the feeling of Ellen T. Horan, president and CEO of the Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce & Industry, on Thursday after she and other area leaders got a rundown of how a business-fueled crime-fighting program has succeeded in Blair County.

“In our community, it would be helpful to have the business community step up, if we developed some strategies and expected outcomes,” Horan said.

The nonprofit program, Operation Our Town, was started by business leaders in Blair County to help fund law enforcement and community efforts to stop young people from becoming criminals.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=454375

Reading Crime Summit’s Initial Plans Move Forward

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

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

As promised, Berks County Commissioner Chairman Christian Y. Leinbach issued a report Friday detailing progress made since a Jan. 18 summit on crime in Reading and Berks.

After the summit, Leinbach had pledged that he, District Attorney John T. Adams and Mayor Vaughn D. Spencer would distribute a public update in five areas:

City-county cooperation: A meeting between city and county officials has been set for March 11 at 1 p.m. in City Council chambers.

The meeting will be open to the public to observe, but will not be a forum for public comment, Leinbach said.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/Article.aspx?id=453131