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Another drug sweep made; eight arrested

Published October 28. 2009 05:00PM

Another drug sweep was made yesterday in Schuylkill County that resulted in the arrest of eight persons, District Attorney James P. Goodman announced.

The sweep was conducted in the Ashland area and targeted street-level dealers in the northwestern part of the county. Taking part in the sweep were members of the DA's Drug Task Force, assisted by members of the Ashland, Butler Township and West Mahanoy Township police and county sheriff office deputies.

Arrested on felony drug counts were the following: Mark Billus Jr., Mark Zimmerman, Damien Zimnicki, Erik Zendrosky, and Stephen Zendrosky, all of Ashland; Dana Walentukonis, Girardville; Robert Merwine, Gordon; and Seini Gustitus of Tremont.

All are charged with delivery of a controlled substance and related counts.

All were arraigned before District Judge Bernadette Nahas, in Frackville. Zendrosky and Merwine posted bail while all the others were committed to the county prison in Pottsville in lieu of bail.

The arrests are the result of investigations conducted by the DA's task force and members of the Ashland, Butler and West Mahanoy townships police.

Goodman credited the expansion of the drug task force, a COPS Methamphetamine Grant which pays for police overtime and the cooperation of local police for the increase in the number of drug arrests being made in the county.

The latest arrests follow other drug busts made in other parts of the county dating back to July 30 when 25 street level dealers were arrested. Goodman emphasized what results can be achieved by local police working together with the DA's task force to help keep drug dealers off the street.

Goodman also thanked to public for its help in the drug investigations. He said many of the probes began when people called in tips to the drug tip line.

If anyone has any drug tip information they can call the DA's drug tip line at (800) 414-1406. Anyone with information concerning the Pottsville area can call (570) 622-1234, mailbox 150.

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