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

Police Probe Pottstown Shooting, Victim Flown To Lehigh Hospital

Editor’s note:  Unfortunately, I was almost right in the middle of this tonight.  Getting a little too close for comfort.  I think the Attorney General’s Mobile Task Force is sorely needed.  Much of the crime in Pottstown is drug related.  It’s time to get serious and ferret out these criminals.  This needs to be the first order of business, not tourism. People are not going to flock to Pottstown if it is NOT SAFE! You are putting the cart before the horse.

POTTSTOWN – A shooting that took place in the area of a downtown alley Wednesday evening resulted in at least one victim being taken by car to the hospital and then flown by helicopter to Lehigh Valley Hospital for further treatment.

The patient’s condition and name were unavailable at press time.

Personnel at Pottstown Memorial Medical Center refused to provide any information or even confirm a shooting victim was or had been in the hospital.

However, The Mercury learned from another source that a patient flown from the hospital’s helicopter pad was the shooting victim.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20150211/police-probe-pottstown-shooting-victim-flown-to-lehigh-hospital

Two Nabbed In Wilkes-Barre Drug Raid; Home Shut Down

Two men face multiple drug charges following a raid at a Wilkes-Barre home on Thursday.

Wilkes-Barre police and state police executed a search warrant at 284 N. Washington St. at about 12:30 p.m. Thursday, police said in a news release.

Police said they found “distribution quantities” of cocaine, heroin and marijuana in the home and arrested Louis Soto, 25, and Brian Lulewicz, 30. The men were taken into custody without incident, police said. An investigation by city and state police revealed that the two men were selling large quantities of heroin and cocaine from the residence and were armed, according to police.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/two-nabbed-in-w-b-drug-raid-home-shut-down-1.1822054

Drugs, Gun Seized In Wilkes-Barre Raid

The Wilkes-Barre Police Anti Crime Unit and the Wilkes-Barre Drug Task force raided a residence on Blackman Street on a drug warrant early Wednesday morning.

The raid was a result of an ongoing investigation targeting drug trafficking in the Rolling Mill Hill section of the city and its surrounding areas, police said.

The investigation revealed Julio “Cesar” Fortuna, 21, was dealing large quantities of high-grade marijuana from his residence and the surrounding streets, police said. Authorities raided 431 Blackman St. around 6 a.m. Wednesday and took Fortuna into custody without incident, police said.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/drugs-gun-seized-in-wilkes-barre-raid-1.1813789

Man Stopped On I-80 Found With 150 Bags Of Heroin In Rectum

An Altoona man had 150 bags of heroin stashed in his rectum and had to have the drugs removed at a hospital, according to state police at Hazleton.

Dennis L. Vanriper was a passenger in a vehicle that troopers stopped for several traffic violations on Interstate 80 west in Nescopeck Township at about 3 a.m. Friday, police said.

Read more: http://standardspeaker.com/news/man-stopped-on-i-80-found-with-150-bags-of-heroin-in-rectum-1.1806894

16 Arrested – Mostly For Drugs – In Northwest Lancaster County Sweep

Sixteen people were arrested Wednesday in a sweep of northwest Lancaster County by a host of law enforcement agencies.

The arrests were the result of a year-long undercover operation, according to Elizabethtown Borough police.

Here’s who was arrested and their charges:

•Jeffrey Myers, 37, of Elizabethtown, charged with one felony count of delivery of a controlled substance by. Myers was arraigned before District Judge Jayne Duncan and was released on $50,000 unsecured bail.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/arrested—mostly-for-drugs—in-northwest/article_f3320066-8193-11e4-8184-9b9b354b3a04.html

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

All Hell Breaks Loose In Pottstown Over The Weekend….Again

Pottstown Borough Hall

Pottstown Borough Hall

Apparently, the inmates are running the asylum in good old Pottstown.  Several shootings, one fatal stabbing and a gas leak happened over the weekend. Sounds like your tax dollars are hard at work. Apparently, council is adding $6 million to the budget bringing it to $44 million.  Frankly, that should include a dozen more police officers and somebody should be reaching out to county and state officials for help.  This mess needs cleaned up once and for all.  It’s the same crap, in the same part(s) of town, over and over again.  We all know it’s drug related, gang related or a turf war etc…  Hey, Ma, “Pass the Section 8 housing please.  I want a heapin’ helpin’ so I can smother it in drugs.”  Happy Thanksgiving, Pottstown style.  Who needs mashed potatoes and gravy ;).  We sure know who the turkey is!

If you check out the Mercury, you can read all about it: http://www.pottsmerc.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/pottstown.mercury.

I can tell you people are scared.  They are afraid to take out their trash at night, drive through town at night etc…  The comments on Facebook by residents are upsetting to read.  You can feel the anger, fear, frustration and almost panic in their comments.  Some think it’s hopeless.

So I say to you, pack the council chambers for meetings and express your outrage to the people who hold the purse strings and can actually do something about it.  Pressure them to clean up Pottstown. They will cave in and do something if enough people complain.  But if the same 20 people show up at meetings every month they pass all this off as a few malcontents and naysayers causing problems. They are more interested in speed traps and tourism than public safety.

There is a bigger problem here than the leadership is willing to admit.  The “keep a lid on the powder keg” strategy has been an #epicfail and proactive policing needs to happen.  Stop putting lipstick on a pig and start throwing money at a huge public safety issue!  People are dying, isn’t that enough motivation?????

Hazleton PA and Pottstown PA By The Numbers

Reading the City of Hazleton’s 2015 Proposed Budget got me thinking about spending and waste.  These two towns are a good comparison because of population, ethnic diversity, demographics and even physical size.  Pottstown’s budget is more than 4 times are large as Hazleton’s, so here are some numbers to ponder courtesy of http://www.CityData.com:

 

Population:

Hazleton (2012) 25,224

Pottstown (2012) 22,480

 

Races:

Hazleton –

  • White alone – 14,580 (57.9%)
  • Hispanic – 9,717 (38.6%)
  • Black alone – 422 (1.7%)

Pottstown –

  • White alone – 15,377 (68.7%)
  • Black alone – 4,147 (18.5%)
  • Hispanic – 1,785 (8.0%)

 

Physical size (land area):

Hazleton is 5.97 square miles

Pottstown is 4.83 square miles

 

Crime rate – U.S. average = 296.6:

Hazleton (2012) 306.3

Pottstown (2012) 434

 

Police Department size:

Hazleton – 38 officers, hiring 10 new police officers built in the $9.3 million proposed budget (they think they have a crime problem).

Pottstown -46 officers, (they don’t think they have a crime problem)

 

Unemployment:

Hazleton – July 2013, 12.8%

Pottstown – July 2013, 6.7%

 

Population density:

Hazleton – 4,222 people per square mile

Pottstown – 4,655 people per square mile

 

Municipal Budget:

Hazleton – $9.3 million (2015 Proposed budget)

Pottstown – $44.8 million (2015 Proposed budget)

 

Cost of living index:

Hazleton – 95.3 (near average, U.S. average is 100)

Pottstown – 103.7 (near average, U.S. average is 100)

 

Average home value:

Hazleton – $93,389 (2012)

Pottstown – $134,796 (2012)

 

Average rent:

Hazleton – Median gross rent in 2012: $631

Pottstown – Median gross rent in 2012: $762

 

Estimated median household income:

Hazleton – $30,492 (2012)

Pottstown – $41,864 (2012)

 

Registered sex offenders:

Hazleton – there were 10 registered sex offenders living in Hazleton, Pennsylvania as of November 10, 2014

Pottstown – there were 49 registered sex offenders living in Pottstown, Pennsylvania as of November 10, 2014

Police: Twice-Convicted York City Drug Dealer Caught With $24K In Heroin

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

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

A twice convicted York City drug dealer is back in prison after York City narcotics officers raided his home Thursday and seized nearly $24,000 worth of raw heroin, according to police.

“That’s a significant amount,” city Detective First Class Andrew Shaffer said.

Plus, that heroin likely would have been “stepped on,” or cut, he said, which could as much as double its value. The $23,900 worth of heroin was all “raw,” or loose, meaning it still needed to be bagged, Shaffer said.

“Five years ago, we just didn’t see raw heroin like that,” he said. “And we see it constantly now.”

Read more: http://www.yorkdispatch.com/breaking/ci_26906554/police-twice-convicted-york-city-drug-dealer-caught

Authorities: Heroin Problem In Region Will Only Get Worse

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE, PA — Heroin is affecting the region at epidemic levels and the problem is only expected to get worse, law enforcement officials told the Pennsylvania Economy League at a meeting Friday afternoon.

The drug is selling on the cheap, and addicts — many of whom got started by legitimately using prescription painkillers — are bringing a plague of crime to the area, West Hazleton Police Chief Brian Buglio said. Almost all robberies, thefts and assaults in the Hazleton area have a drug or gang nexus, he said.

“Heroin is terrifying, and it’s only going to get worse, unfortunately,” Buglio said during the meeting at Best Western Genetti Hotel and Conference Center.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/authorities-heroin-problem-in-region-will-only-get-worse-1.1784687

Police: Man Found Unresponsive In Cab Had Over $100,000 In Heroin

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

HAZLE TOWNSHIP, PA — An unresponsive man in the back of a taxi cab awoke to a slew of charges after police say they found over $100,000 of heroin in his possession on Sunday morning.

According to police reports:

State police responded to assist EMS personnel at the Ramada Inn on North Church Street at 8:20 a.m. for a report of an unresponsive male in a taxi cab. When the 24-year-old man from Scranton was awoken by officers, he was found to allegedly be in possession of 3 ounces of raw heroin, a street value of approximately $5,000. The man was also found to allegedly have 10,280 glassine bags of heroine, with a street value of over $100,000.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/news/50578018/

Police: Meth Lab Exploded In Nanticoke

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

An explosion caused by residents cooking methamphetamine shook a Nanticoke apartment complex on Saturday, police said.

At approximately 8 p.m., the Nanticoke police and fire departments responded to a call at an apartment building on Lee Mine Street, where they discovered at least six apartments affected by the explosion.

The blast was so forceful that two doors within the apartment were blown off the hinges, police said.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/police-meth-lab-exploded-in-nanticoke-1.1777749

Wilkes-Barre’s Sherman Hills Complex Now Prefers Locals

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE, PA — The welcome mat is still out for out-of-state residents at Sherman Hills, but under a program instituted by the new owner, locals are given preference to move into the federally-subsidized apartment complex.

The preference also applies if a member of the household waiting to get one of the 344-units has a job.

John VanMetre, director of property management for The Aspen Companies, an affiliate of Teaneck, New Jersey-based Treetop Development, owner of the complex, explained the change in light of a recent report that Sherman Hills had advertised for tenants in the New York City area.

VanMetre said that with the change in ownership, any ads are done locally.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/news/50555847/Sherman-Hills-puts-focus-on-locals

Demands To ‘Stop the Violence’ Dominate Wilkes-Barre City Council Meeting

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE, PA — Desperate for answers in the shooting death of one son, Yvonne George pleaded to be heard in order to save her other child.

Her brief statement capped the raucous and at times unruly city council meeting Thursday night filled with other members of the black community fed up with violence in the city and demanding something be done to end it.

A photo of her son David George was on the collage of black-and-white photos above the words “Stop The Violence” on posters held up in the audience. The 24-year-old man was shot and killed July 18, 2013, on South Welles Street, the seventh of the city’s 13 homicide victims that year.

“I feel that the Wilkes-Barre police every time something happens with a black person down here, the first thing they say is is it’s drug related and it’s gang related,” the deceased man’s mother said. “My son was not in no gang.”

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/news/50464272/

Police: Clay Twp. Shooting Of 23-Year-Old Brett Simmons Appears To Be Drug Related

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

The fatal shooting of a 23-year-old Clay Twp. man during a home invasion that also left his father seriously wounded appears to be connected to the drug trade.

Chief of Northern Lancaster regional police David Steffen said Wednesday morning that the ongoing investigation shows the shooting was not a random attack.

“We’re highlighting that nothing at all in this investigation suggests an element of randomness,” Steffen said.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/police-clay-twp-shooting-of–year-old-brett-simmons/article_fd43904c-4eee-11e4-9626-001a4bcf6878.html

York City Police Announce 11 Drug Arrests

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

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

York City Police released more details Friday about an operation this week to arrest people facing drug charges.

Since Tuesday, 11 people have been taken into custody, according to a press release.

The alleged drug deliveries occurred during the past two weeks in the areas of Maple and Duke streets and Pine and Princess streets.

Read more: http://www.yorkdispatch.com/business/ci_26608732/york-city-police-announce-11-drug-arrests?source=most_viewed

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