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Nesquehoning man arraigned on charges stemming from drug, burglary raid last week

Published April 29. 2010 05:00PM

A Nesquehoning man was arraigned yesterday on multiple charges as part of an alleged complex burglary ring that operated in Carbon, Lehigh, Northampton, and Schuylkill counties, with drugs being a common denominator.

Frank M. Munoz, of 64 Rhume St., Nesquehoning, was placed in Carbon County Prison following his arraignment before District Judge Edward Lewis of Jim Thorpe. He's one of about a dozen people who were implicated in the alleged crime ring, with charges including corrupt organizations.

The others allegedly involved were arrested last week and all were arraigned when arrested.

Charges against Munoz include:

* Six counts of criminal conspiracy.

* Five counts of burglary.

* Five counts of criminal trespass.

* Six counts of theft by unlawful taking.

* Nine counts of receiving stolen property.

* One count of corrupt organizations.

* One count of dealing in the proceeds of unlawful activity.

The investigation was handled through the office of the state Attorney General with assistance from numerous local police departments.

Allegedly Munoz, as well as the other defendants, were involved in heroin and cocaine trafficking activities in a four-county area, the affidavits state. Munoz, it is alleged, along with co-defendants Robert Cesanek, Ed Cesanek, Kira Cesanek, and Wayne Thorpe, committed a series of residential and commercial burglaries throughout the four-county area from the winter of 2007 to late summer of 2009.

They allegedly sold the items taken in the burglaries to local pawn shops via a "network of sub-dealers." The money was taken to Lehigh and/or Northampton counties where three independent dealers would supply Munoz and others with heroin and/or cocaine. Among the alleged drug dealers was Victor Rodriguez, who was apprehended in last week's round-up.

Items stolen in burglaries attributed to Munoz include guns, jewelry, flat-screen TVs, and coins.

A spokesman for the office of Attorney General said the investigation is on-going and doesn't rule out the possibility that more arrests may be made.

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