There’s A New Kind Of Heroin Called Amtrak, And Drug Dealers Are Pushing It In Lancaster, Police Say

Two Lancaster men were caught transporting a large amount of heroin into the county from Philadelphia, police say. And the drug was a new blend called “Amtrak” that’s been prevalent in the area.

Martin Ortiz, 37, of 505 Dauphin St., and Luis Antonio Aponte-Ortiz, 39, 504 New Dauphin St., Apt. 1, both were charged with possession with intent to deliver heroin and criminal conspiracy after a vehicle stop May 28 in Gap, according to Lancaster County Drug Task Force officials.

Investigators, armed with search warrants for Ortiz and his vehicle, stopped the car at Routes 30 and 41.

In the vehicle, officials said they found a plastic grocery bag behind the driver’s seat containing 21 “bricks” of heroin labeled “Amtrak.”

Read more:

http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/there-s-a-new-kind-of-heroin-called-amtrak-and/article_26ad67ac-0af9-11e5-9054-5ff8501a365b.html

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Pottstown Crime Affected By Shorthanded Department, Increase In Drug Trade

POTTSTOWN, PA – There is a fairly simple reason why violent crime in Pottstown seems to have been on the rise in 2014.

The police were short-handed.

“At the beginning of 2014, we were down by 15 officers,” said Pottstown Police Chief Richard Drumheller.

“As a result, we had to pull people off the drug detail and, not surprisingly, we saw an increase in the drug problem,” he said.

Read more:

http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20150308/pottstown-crime-affected-by-shorthanded-department-increase-in-drug-trade

Arrest Warrants Issued For 18 Street-Level Drug Dealers In Luzerne County

KINGSTON, PA — A year-long investigation of street-level illegal drug sales resulted in the arrest warrants for 18 people on Thursday.

Teams of undercover drug agents with the state Office of Attorney General and Luzerne County Drug Task Force and police in Edwardsville and Kingston swept the West Side serving arrest warrants at many residences, including one in Wilkes-Barre, beginning at 7 a.m.

As of late Thursday afternoon, 13 people were in custody.

After having their pictures and fingerprints taken at the Kingston Police Department, those arrested were taken one-by-one to be arraigned by District Judge Paul J. Roberts on drug trafficking offenses.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/home_top-local-news-news/153232072/

32 Arrested, Including 4 Alleged Drug Pushers, In Norristown Drug Operation

NORRISTOWN, PA – Two phone calls months apart from each other allowed investigators to link together two drug rings that delivered crystal meth and heroin to the streets of Norristown and other parts in southeastern Pennsylvania.

District Attorney Risa Ferman announced Wednesday the arrest of 32 people, including four major alleged drug pushers, in Norristown in a joint operation appropriately dubbed “Operation Snow and Ice Removal.”

“This is a series of drug trafficking arrests that have been made in two overlapping drug trafficking rings that relate to the sale of crystal meth, heroin and cocaine, primarily in Norristown but with tentacles in southeast Pennsylvania,” Ferman said at a press conference.

Read more:

http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20150225/32-arrested-including-4-alleged-drug-pushers-in-norristown-drug-operation

Meet With The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office

First Assistant District Attorney, Kevin Steele, has responded to a request from a Pottstown resident/businessman to meet with the community regarding the problems of drug dealers and drug houses. This will be an opportunity to engage the District Attorney’s office and to ask questions about how they can work with us to reduce crime.

We will be meeting with Asst. D.A. Jason Whalley.

Because of the importance of this meeting we want thoughtful participation by residents who will take time to familiarize themselves with the PA Drug Nuisance Law and ask relevant questions.

This is NOT a meeting to “bash” law enforcement or dwell on personal experiences.

We are working to build a connection based on trust and communication between the community, the D.A.’s office and local law enforcement.

PLEASE RSVP for this meeting. There could be a change in venue or time but we will update you ASAP with any changes.  To RSVP email ptownadvocates@hotmail.com and put COUNT ME IN in the subject line and put your name in the body of the email along with any other information you want to pass along or questions. You should familiarize yourself with the PA Drug Nuisance Law in order to be able to participate in the discussion.  Here’s the link to the Pennsylvania Drug Nuisance Law:

http://reg.abcsignup.com/files/%7B28C5CDFA-B871-4CC5-9AFB-91D00628F4A4%7D_39/34387/Blight_statutes.pdf

Blair County’s Operation Our Town Funds Law Enforcement And Rehab Efforts

In 2006, Michael A. Fiore was talking with a police officer about a shooting — the kind that never happened in Altoona before big-city drug dealers came to town.

The officer said his department didn’t even have bulletproof vests to wear on raids, Mr. Fiore recounted Tuesday. “I said, ‘Go out and get eight of them, and send me the bill.’”

Over the course of a year, that act of generosity morphed into the creation of Operation Our Town, in which Blair County business leaders pledge $10,000 each year to fight drugs.

Last year the organization backed Altoona’s schools, after school programs, youth sports groups, mentoring for first-time mothers and construction of a playground, among other efforts.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/state/2014/12/01/Blair-County-s-Operation-Our-Town-funds-law-enforcement-and-rehab-efforts/stories/201411300093

Attorney General Drops Charges Against ‘Upper-Level’ Heroin Dealers

A state prosecutor withdrew charges against both men accused of being “upper-level heroin dealers,” updated court records show Wednesday.

Senior Deputy Attorney General Mark Serge asked a judge on Monday to drop the charges of corrupt organization, drug possession with intent to deliver, conspiracy, drug possession and illegal possession of a firearm against James Perrin, 35.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/6686812-74/charges-attorney-general#ixzz3BbqGOrPZ
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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

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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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

2 Arrested In Pottstown Murder

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN, PA — Two men were arrested Friday for the murder of Steven Mitchell, who was found dead in his car on June 5 in the 400 block of Jefferson Avenue.

John Anthony Parson Jr., 18, of Pottstown, and Tyron Joab Witherspoon, 22, of Philadelphia, both face murder, robbery and conspiracy charges, according to the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office.

Parson was arrested Friday morning in Lower Pottsgrove and Witherspoon was arrested in Philadelphia, the D.A.’s office said.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, a witness told police Mitchell was shot in Liberty Alley during a transaction where a group of people intended to buy crack cocaine and a 9 mm handgun.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140613/2-arrested-in-pottstown-murder

Two Haverford School Graduates Charged With Selling Drugs At Main Line High Schools And Colleges

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

Two graduates of the Haverford School on the Main Line were arrested Monday after authorities said they led a drug trafficking ring the dealers called “the Main Line takeover project” that targeted local high schools and colleges.

As the name implied, the goal of the dealers was to “take over from existing drug dealers the marijuana business in the Main Line section of Montgomery County,” authorities said.

The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office said that Neil K. Scott, 25, of Haverford, and Timothy C. Brooks, 18, of Villanova, employed high school students at Lower Merion, Harriton, Conestoga, and Radnor High Schools and college students at Haverford, Gettysburg and Lafayette Colleges to be “sub-dealers.”

The ring allegedly also sold cocaine, hash oil and ecstasy to students on the Main Line, police said.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20140422_Police__Drug_ring_specialized_in_high_schools__colleges.html#3mVqFJ2QWKZ5UwsK.99

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Dunmore May Condemn Homes Where Drugs Are Sold

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

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

DUNMORE, PA – Drug dealers who settle in the borough may soon find themselves homeless.

Borough council next month will consider amending Dunmore’s building code ordinance to temporarily condemn homes and apartments where people are selling or manufacturing drugs.

“A one-time zone violation of drug activity on site will result in immediate closure of the property,” solicitor Thomas Cummings told councilmen on Monday. “It mirrors (ordinances) used by other communities in an effort to stem the drug problem which … destroys the neighborhood, destroys the property value and just creates a downward spiral.”

Borough lawmakers were already thinking of doing more to combat drugs when Dunmore police and Lackawanna County detectives found a large cache of drugs and related paraphernalia at a Prescott Avenue home last month.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/dunmore-may-condemn-homes-where-drugs-are-sold-1.1668476

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Crowd Rallies For Change On The Streets Of Jeannette

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Westmoreland ...

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

A crowd of about 150 people lined the sidewalks and stood in the middle of Second Street in Jeannette on Sunday, as more than half a dozen speakers urged them to “take back” their city.

“I think the good people (of Jeannette) want to make a change,” said Chad Fetty, who organized the “We Are One … A Rally For Peace.”

Fetty said he wanted residents to focus on and support the positive things happening in Jeannette, including new businesses opening in the city.

A 10-year resident, Fetty, lead singer of East Coast Turnaround, is raising his family in Jeannette.

“Just like I love music, I love this city,” he said.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/westmoreland/5354278-74/drug-jeannette-capozzi#ixzz2pdxL67Sp
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Two Camden Killings End Year On A Fatal Note

English: Camden, New Jersey is one of the poor...

English: Camden, New Jersey is one of the poorest cities in the United States. Camden suffers from unemployment, urban decay, poverty, and many other social issues. Much of the city of Camden, New Jersey suffers from urban decay. 日本語: ニュージャージー州カムデンのスラム. Svenska: Camden, New Jersey is one of the poorest cities in the United States. Kiswahili: Camden, New Jersey ni moja ya mataifa maskini zaidi katika miji ya Marekani. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

CAMDEN, NJ — Two men were killed Tuesday in Camden in what authorities said appeared to be a drug-related shooting.

They became the city’s 56th and 57th homicide victims of 2013, pushing the homicide rate to the second-highest level on record and the number of victims to its third-highest level. In 2012, 67 people were slain.

Around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, police were called to a house on the 700 block of Division Street, also known as Ramona Gonzalez Street, in the Bergen Square neighborhood.

They found Jorge Chavis, 31, and James Anderson, 23, dead from gunshot wounds, the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office said in a news release.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/20140101_2_shot_dead_in_Camden.html#uxyK08fKAQjQsho0.99

HUD: Sherman Hills Issues Life-Threatening

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE, PA — Sherman Hills tenants are experiencing life-threatening security issues that include inoperable surveillance cameras, broken windows and more than half of exterior lights not turned on or broken, a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development report said.

The report, made public Thursday, follows a two-day HUD inspection in September of six of the eight “garden style buildings” within the complex, including Building 328, where two girls suffered gunshot wounds in August.

The sprawling 344-unit apartment complex off Coal Street has been plagued by violent crime in recent years, including the shooting of the two girls and a fatal shooting of a woman on Nov. 11.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news/1001665/HUD:-Sherman-Hills-issues-life-threatening

How Heroin Abuse Has Become Epidemic

1044756_392391437532570_1638549602_nEditor’s note:  And the last two paragraphs are about a heroin death in Pottstown!  Wake up borough officials!!!!! Stop denying this problem exists! The man who robbed National Penn Bank on High Street was a heroin addict and high at the time.  It’s not a “bump in the road” or a “perception problem” as your soon-to-be ex-mayor likes to tell people.

Heroin-related overdoses jumped nearly 250 percent between 2010 and 2012 in Philadelphia and, depending on how they are measured, slightly more in Montgomery County. In Kentucky, they quadrupled in just one year.

Experts say the culprit is actually prescription painkillers. Abuse of the expensive narcotics leads to tolerance – and cravings for more and more. Heroin is the cheap and more powerful alternative.

Experts point to a series of events that began when the Food and Drug Administration in 1997 proposed easing the way for advertising of prescription medications on broadcast television, which almost no other country does as freely. Industry spending on direct-to-consumer advertising rose tenfold in five years. Prescriptions written for opioid painkillers such as Vicodin and OxyContin soon rose more than 500 percent.

“As a culture, we are just very used to, ‘You have a problem, get a prescription,’ ” said Jay Unick, an assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Social work, who studies how public policies affect behavioral health outcomes.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/health/20131107__We_lost_an_entire_generation__to_heroin.html#oec76sPDSpAZbJT2.99

Changing Skyline: PHA, Homeowners In Stalemate Over Plans For Empty Public-Housing Tower

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

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

Kimberly Mathis put up with plenty when the public-housing tower that shadows her little Germantown street was inhabited, but things got worse after the Philadelphia Housing Authority emptied the apartments in 2011 in preparation for demolition.  The drug dealers, who had done a brisk trade inside the Queen Lane high-rise, quickly shifted business to the sidewalks below.  They even dragged a set of bleachers to a spot across from Mathis’ house, which she bought from Habitat for Humanity and shares with a disabled daughter.

That was the last straw.  Furious, Mathis says, she grabbed an ax and proceeded to hack the bleachers into firewood.  The dealers scattered like so many roaches, taking up new positions a block away.  She says her stretch of Priscilla Street has been dealer-free ever since.

If only getting rid of the notorious Queen Lane tower were as simple.

In the two tumultuous years since PHA announced plans to replace the graceless, 16-story misfit with 55 rental houses, the agency’s relationship with neighborhood homeowners has gone from bad to worse.  For a while, it seemed that the project would enable PHA, which is still recovering from the Carl Greene scandal, to showcase a gentler, more collaborative style. Instead, the agency now finds itself in the position of ramming through a problematic design.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/home/20130816_Changing_Skyline__PHA__homeowners_in_stalemate_over_plans_for_empty_eyesore.html#VDGH3TPO8jgUeyys.99

Wilkes-Barre Police Charge 2 In Drug-Trafficking Case

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE — A wanted Philadelphia man awaiting trial on drug charges is being held in the Luzerne County Correctional Facility in lieu of $50,000 bail after city police arrested him and another man on drug charges on Tuesday.

Emmanuel Williams, 20, was and found to be in possession of “distribution amounts” of heroin, police said, without elaborating.

According to police, investigation into suspected drug activity in the area around Park Avenue, Lehigh Street, East Northampton Street and Empire Street led to a traffic stop at Park and Lehigh on Tuesday.

An Edwardsville man, Rashon Whitest, 19, of Green Street, was processed and released pending a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge, police said.

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/news/754049/W-B-police-charge-2-in-drug-trafficking-case