October 13, 2015
Contact: SSA Henry Vinson
Phone Number: (215) 861-3474
DEA Announces 10 Arrests & 1,700 Bags Of Heroin Seized In Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania
PHILADELPHIA - Special Agent in Charge Gary Tuggle announced today that the Jim Thorpe Police (JTPD) and the Lehighton Borough Police (LBPD) requested the assistance of the Drug Enforcement Administration’(DEA) Allentown Resident Office with an operation that targeted heroin traffickers operating in Jim Thorpe.
On September 26th and September 28th, 2015, the DEA, the JTPD, and the LBPD conducted a joint operation that lead to the arrest of ten people on Pennsylvania state drug charges. Pursuant to these arrests, approximately 1,700 bags of alleged heroin, approximately ten grams of alleged cocaine, various prescription pills, one handgun, and approximately $1,000 in cash were seized.
“Operations like this where the DEA can partner with local law enforcement agencies in areas such as Jim Thorpe and Lehighton Borough are part of the DEA’s overall strategy in combating the heroin epidemic in communities across Pennsylvania,” said Tuggle. “This is just another example of how heroin, and a significant amount of it at that, affects every community regardless of size and location.”
“Carbon County is pleased to have the cooperative effort of the DEA to combat our local drug problems. We appreciated their sharing their time and resources, which resulted in a successful operation,” said Carbon County District Attorney Jean Engler, whose office will be prosecuting the ten people arrested under this operation.
Heroin abuse has become an epidemic across the country especially amongst younger people, many of whom see it as a cheaper alternative to abusing prescription drugs. According to data from the Carbon County Coroner’s Office, there were 11 drug overdose deaths in Carbon County 2014; eight of those deaths resulted from heroin. Numerous heroin overdoses across the country have been attributed to batches of heroin laced with fentanyl, which is a highly potent opioid. In 2013 alone, more than 8,200 people died from heroin overdoses in the United States.
“The way we solve many of our community-related crimes is when we work multi-jurisdiction cases like this, because our heroin dealers travel to neighboring towns to distribute their drugs,” said LBPD Police Chief Brian Biechy.
“This was a great joint effort between all of the agencies involved,” said JTPD Police Chief Joseph Schatz.
The charges against the ten people noted in this release are merely accusations; they are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.