Pennsylvania : Bust targets 5 from Lebanon County,Pennsylvania.
Bust targets 5 from Lebanon County,Pennsylvania.
READING,Pennsylvania — Five Lebanon County,Pennsylvania residents were among 18 people arrested in connection with a multimillion-dollar drug ring, state Attorney General Tom Corbett announced yesterday at a news conference that was attended by Lebanon County,Pennsylvania District Attorney David Arnold.
The drug ring moved heroin, cocaine and marijuana from New York City and Philadelphia into Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin and Lebanon,Pennsylvania counties, Corbett’s office said in a news release.
Corbett credited Operation Triple Threat with discovering the drug ring. Corbett said the five-year operation began when undercover agents identified a lower-level street dealer who was dealing cocaine in Cumberland County,Pennsylvania.
“Agents made a controlled purchase from the dealer, and the ensuing investigation revealed three separate organizations that were part of a complex multimillion-dollar network of suppliers and dealers,” according to the news release.
Agents involved in Operation Triple Threat — named for the drug ring’s three branches in the Berks,Pennsylvania.
Lebanon and Cumber-land/Dauphin county,Pennsylvania areas — seized more than 12 pounds of cocaine, 24 pounds of marijuana and 70 grams of heroin during their investigation. The drugs have a street value of about $1 million. Agents also confiscated $56,500 in cash.
“We have now removed some very major drug dealers from Lebanon County,Pennsylvania” Arnold said yesterday.
At its peak, the ring annually moved about 175 pounds of cocaine valued at $2.9 million, Corbett said. About 41⁄2 to 61⁄2 pounds of cocaine worth $108,000 was being distributed each month to Lebanon County,Pennsylvania the investigation revealed.
A state grand jury was convened to hear testimony gathered by Operation Triple Threat.
Jesus “Cano” Garcia of Lebanon,Pennsylvania distributed cocaine in Lebanon County,Pennsylvania the grand jury was told. During an investigation into Garcia’s activities, it was discovered that one of Garcia’s drug suppliers was Juan Albert Ortiz of Philadelphia,Pennsylvania according to grand-jury testimony.
Meanwhile, Cesar Jaen of Harrisburg,Pennsylvania a suspect cooperating with the investigation, told the grand jury that he started buying cocaine from Garcia,Pennsylvania about five years ago.
A law-enforcement agent testified that Jaen made a controlled buy of 125 grams of cocaine from Garcia,Pennsylvania on July 10 near 12th and Maple streets in Lebanon,Pennsylvania.
Jaen also made controlled buys of cocaine from Angel Rodriguez, Luis Mojico and Alex “Emilio” Rodriguez, all of Lebanon County,Pennsylvania between March 2007 and January, according to grand-jury testimony.
Some of the cocaine obtained through the controlled buys was packaged in what appeared to be sealed boxes of crackers, according to testimony.
Agents also bought seven pounds of marijuana from Rosalio Marez of Lebanon,Pennsylvania at a Fredericksburg pizza shop between Oct. 31 and Jan. 4, according to testimony.
Senior Deputy Attorney General Heather Adams of the state’s Drug Strike Force Section will prosecute the case, officials said yesterday.