Suspect Arrested In Hazleton Murder

Just 72 hours after a man was killed on a city street by gun fire, Hazleton police arrested the man they say pulled the trigger.

Officers arrested Raphael Mora-Polanco, 26, Hazleton, while conducting surveillance Sunday in the area of Second and Alter streets, about two blocks away from the shooting that claimed the life of Jorge Marrero, 35, who’s last known address was on South Poplar Street.

Marrero was shot multiple times in the area of Alter and Fourth streets Thursday around 10:30 p.m., police said. He was found by police on West Fourth Street, near Emerald Court, the alley between Alter and Vine streets, with bullet wounds.

Hazleton police Chief Frank DeAndrea labeled the homicide an “execution” due to the circumstances involved.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/suspect-arrested-in-hazleton-murder-1.1898205

Hazleton Police Chief: Shooting Death An Execution

A man shot and wounded during an argument amid a group of people at a vacant lot on Alter Street in Hazleton staggered up West Fourth Street in the rain before being shot in the head and killed late Thursday, city police Chief Frank DeAndrea said.

DeAndrea called the killing an execution.

He asks people who saw the incident to call police at 911 if they are in the Hazleton area or 570-459-4940.

Surveillance cameras show the argument occurring in a lot at 590 Alter St., and police circled a trail of bloodstains on the sidewalk and road along Fourth Street to where the victim was found just west of Emerald Court at 10:30 p.m.

Read more: http://standardspeaker.com/news/chief-shooting-death-an-execution-1.1896889

Hazleton Looks At Tax Increase To Pay For Added Police

Downtown Hazleton, PA

Downtown Hazleton, PA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

HAZLETON, PA — City Council unanimously approved a referendum on Monday night that would ask city voters if they would support an increased police presence on city streets at a cost of a 1-mill tax increase for property owners.

A mill is $1 dollar in tax for every $1,000 of assessed value. For example, a 1-mill increase on a property valued at $100,000 would mean a $100 tax increase for the property owner.

Council member Jean Mope said although she fully supported the hiring of additional police officers, she believed officials should investigate funding sources beyond taxpayers’ pockets.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/50375881/Hazleton-looks-at-tax-increase-to-pay-for-added-police

Crime Spree Starts In Hazleton, Ends In New York City

Downtown Hazleton, PA

Downtown Hazleton, PA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

HAZLETON, PA — A 125-mile crime spree Friday morning that started in Hazleton and ended in New York City involved the kidnapping of one woman, the attempted kidnapping of another and a dramatic ending when a stolen Cadillac Escalade crashed on the George Washington Bridge, police said.

Authorities said a 33-year-old man from New York allegedly kidnapped a woman by force from her residence on North Church Street Friday morning and was captured hours later after the bridge crash.

At a news conference, Hazleton Police Chief Frank DeAndrea identified the suspect as Luis Figueroa. Court records list Figueroa’s address as Walter Avenue, Bronx, New York.

According to DeAndrea, Hazleton police responded to 149 N. Church St. at about 8:30 a.m. after a man armed with a shotgun attempted to abduct a pregnant woman. One of the women in the house had a protection-from-abuse order against Figueroa, the chief said.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/1448833/Crime-spree-starts-in-Hazleton-ends-in-New-York-City

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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

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Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Street Crimes Unit Nets Over 100 Arrests In Hazleton

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

HAZLETON, PA — The state’s top cop came to Hazleton on Wednesday to trumpet the success of her Mobile Street Crimes Unit, which has netted more than 100 arrests and seized more than 35,000 packets of heroin in southern Luzerne County over the past five months.

Just in the last three days, state Attorney General Kathleen Kane said, agents made more than 40 arrests and seized 9,060 packets of heroin as part of Operation Rising Star — a moniker chosen by Hazleton Police Chief Frank DeAndrea.

Kane said Hazleton has been “a breeding ground” for the distribution of heroin, with interstates 80 and 81 nearby as a convenient pipeline to New York City and northern New Jersey suppliers.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news/1205689/Crimes-unit-nets-over-100-arrests-in-Hazleton-area

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Luzerne County 911: No Calls Missed

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

A thorough review Monday of Luzerne County 911’s computerized database refutes a claim made by Hazleton’s police chief that callers could not get through last week to report a man was shot, the interim 911 director said.

The database logs all calls made to the center — including those not picked up by a phone operator — and there were no missed calls in the half-hour period before the July 5 shooting, interim 911 Executive Director Fred Rosencrans said.

On Friday, Hazleton Police Chief Frank DeAndrea blasted the county emergency dispatch agency, saying the victim remained bleeding on the street after the 1:40 a.m. shooting because people at the scene couldn’t get an answer at 911 until 2 a.m.

“I am saying with certainty it didn’t happen the way it was portrayed,” Rosencrans said.

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/659924/County-911:-No-calls-missed

Hazleton Police Chief: 911 Response To Shooting Victim Calls Unacceptable

Downtown Hazleton, PA

Downtown Hazleton, PA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another of the “bigger concerns” police have is with Luzerne County 911, DeAndrea said.

“Apparently it took over 25 minutes for 911 to answer the phone,” he said.  “There’s a high call volume because it (was) the Fourth of July.  However, there’s a man lying shot, bleeding, on the streets of the city of Hazleton and (911) can’t get the phone answered to dispatch a car.

“So here’s the Hazleton Police Department excited with a 3-minute response, thinking maybe we’re going to catch the shooter with a smoking gun, and it ends up we’re a half hour after the fact,” DeAndrea said.  “That just doesn’t make any sense.”

By talking with the family who lives in the home in front of which the shooting occurred, DeAndrea said, he was trying to pin down how many people called 911.  “The family was actually trying to flag vehicles down in the middle of Diamond Avenue to try and send someone for help,” DeAndrea said.

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/654857/Chief:-911-response-to-shooting-victim-calls-unacceptable

UPDATE: Hazleton Police ID Suspect In Friday’s Shooting

Downtown Hazleton, PA

Downtown Hazleton, PA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

HAZLETON — City police have identified a suspect in the shooting of a 29-year-old man early Friday morning on West Diamond Avenue.

The Hazleton Police Detective Division has applied for an arrest warrant for Juan Carlos Paulino, 26, of 635 N. James St., Apartment 2, Hazleton, police said in a press release.

Police allege that Paulino shot a man, whose name they would not release, multiple times in the chest and abdomen in the 600 block of West Diamond Avenue at about 1:40 Friday morning.

Read more:

http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/654017/UPDATE:-Hazleton-police-ID-suspect-in-this-mornings-shooting

Hazleton Scoured After Police Car Window Shot Out

Downtown Hazleton, PA

Downtown Hazleton, PA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

HAZLETON – Scores of police officers scoured a neighborhood in the Alter Street business district with guns drawn Wednesday morning after the rear window of an unmarked police vehicle “exploded” when it was shot with something while a Hazleton detective sat inside.

City Police Chief Frank DeAndrea said the unnamed detective was not hurt.

He said the unmarked vehicle was parked at Fourth and Alter streets about 11:45 a.m. when the window “exploded as if shot out,” blowing “90 percent” of the glass inside the vehicle.

“It was shot with something. I’m just not sure what caliber, if it was a BB from a passing motorist,” Chief DeAndrea said.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/hazleton-scoured-after-police-car-window-shot-out-1.1451125