HARRISBURG - Sixteen suspected drug dealers were charged today by the Attorney General's Bureau of Narcotics Investigation (BNI) following a joint investigation of local, state and federal authorities, into the distribution of cocaine and heroin from the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico to Pennsylvania.

Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane said the investigation, which began in the summer of 2012, focused on an international trafficking organization that stretched from the Dominican Republic to New York City and then to Luzerne and Northumberland counties.

Evidence and testimony regarding the alleged activity was presented to two statewide investigating grand juries, which recommended the criminal charges being filed today.

According to the grand jury, Juan Carlos Alvarez, from the Dominican Republic, supplied local users and dealers with bulk quantities of heroin and cocaine since at least 2008. Alvarez allegedly routinely supplied his Pennsylvania associates with multiple ounces of cocaine and hundreds of bags of heroin each week culminating in the distribution of what amounted to kilos of both cocaine and heroin.

Agents estimate that during the course of the investigation the organization was responsible for distributing at least $2 million worth of cocaine and heroin.

The grand jury identified one of Alvarez's main Pennsylvania associates as Jarred Derck of Shamokin, Pa. Other associates allegedly flew to the Dominican Republic to meet with cocaine and heroin suppliers.

During their visits, these associates were allegedly hired to be "drug mules" and paid $10,000 to swallow balloons filed with large quantities of cocaine and heroin, which was then trafficked into New York City via international airlines. The heroin and cocaine were then distributed in the New York City area and throughout northeastern and central Pennsylvania.

Over the course of the investigation, agents and local police made and arranged a series of undercover purchases for ounces of cocaine and hundreds of bags of heroin. Through these undercover purchases investigators were able to identify multiple Northumberland County residents as being involved in the organization.

The grand jury found that local distributors obtained hundreds of bags of heroin a week and redistributed the drugs out of an Elysburg pizza shop, a garage in Shamokin owned by Kinda Yost, and a residence in Mount Carmel that was used as a stash house.

Attorney General Kane thanked the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Northumberland County District Attorney Anthony J. Rosini, Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie J. Salavantis, the Shamokin Police Department, the Coal Township Police Department, the Mount Carmel Police Department, the Hazleton Police Department and the Ralpho Township Police Department for their assistance with the investigation.

Attorney General Kane noted this is an ongoing investigation and additional arrests are anticipated.

The case will be prosecuted in Northumberland County by Senior Deputy Attorney General Patrick Leonard of the Attorney General's Drug Strike Force Section. Below is a complete list of the defendants and the charges against them.

Juan Carlos Alvarez, 27, currently incarcerated in the Lackawanna County Prison, is charged with nine counts of possession with the intent to deliver cocaine and heroin, nine counts of delivery of cocaine and heroin, three counts of criminal use of a communication facility and two counts of criminal conspiracy.

Jarred Derck, 29, currently incarcerated in the Northumberland County Prison, is charged with two counts of criminal conspiracy.

Darryl Elliot, 27, 287 S. Grant St., Apt. B, Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County, is charged with one count of possession with the intent to deliver heroin, one count of delivery of heroin and one count of criminal conspiracy.

Jordan Detalente, 19, currently incarcerated in the Northumberland County Prison, is charged with two counts of criminal conspiracy.

Jordan Scicchitano, 19, 515 S. Oak St., Coal Township, Northumberland County, is charged with two counts of criminal conspiracy.

Harry Reed, 36, 941 W. Independence St., Coal Township, Northumberland County, is charged with two counts of criminal conspiracy.

Joseph Galgocy, 29, address unknown, is charged with one count of criminal conspiracy of possession with the intent to deliver.

Kinda Yost, 25, 32 N. Anthracite St., Shamokin, Northumberland County, is charged with four counts of possession with the intent to deliver heroin, three counts of delivery of heroin, two counts of criminal conspiracy and one count of perjury.

Kevin Eltringham, 30, 1423 W. Arch St., Coal Township, Northumberland County, is charged with two counts of criminal conspiracy, one count of possession with the intent to deliver heroin and one count of perjury.

Wade Smink, 38, 844 Chestnut St., Kulpmont, Northumberland County, is charged with two counts of criminal conspiracy.

Robyn Russo, 24, 1245 W. Walnut St., Coal Township, Northumberland County, is charged with four counts of possession with the intent to deliver heroin, three counts of delivery of heroin, two counts of criminal use of a communication facility and one count of criminal conspiracy.

Foster Renn III, 23, 1305 W. Montgomery St., Coal Township, Northumberland County, is charged with one count of possession with the intent to deliver heroin, one count of delivery of heroin, one count of criminal conspiracy and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.

Kyle Fabian, 22, 272 Bottle Drive, Paxinos, Northumberland County, is charged with one count of possession with the intent to deliver heroin, one count of delivery of heroin, one count of criminal conspiracy and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.

Konrad Kehler, 24, 130 Iris Road, Shamokin, Northumberland County, is charged with three counts of possession with the intent to deliver heroin, three counts of delivery of heroin, three counts of criminal use of a communication facility and two counts of criminal conspiracy.

Lucas Krankowski, 34, 1701 W. Independence St., Coal Township, Northumberland County, is charged with three counts of possession with the intent to deliver heroin, three counts of delivery of heroin and three counts of criminal use of a communication facility.

Amber Zwolinski, 26, 230 Sanderson St., Pottsville, Northumberland County, is charged with two counts of possession with the intent to deliver heroin, two counts of delivery of heroin and two counts of criminal use of a communication facility.