Rush Township drugs
Police and investigators secure the scene of a drug raid at 72 Ryan Ave. in Hometown early Thursday afternoon. Seen from left: Officer Anthony Stanell, Tamaqua police; Officer Cory Herring and Sgt. Dwayne Frederick, both of Rush Township police. A search of the premises turned up cocaine, marijuana and several hundred dollars in cash, according to investigators.
A Hometown man will answer to multiple drug-related charges after a police search at his residence early Thursday afternoon turned up illegal drugs and cash.
Rush Township and Tamaqua police and members of the Schuylkill County Drug Task Force raided the residence of James William Kunkel, 28, 72 Ryan Ave., Hometown, at approximately 2:30 p.m.
At that address officers discovered cocaine, marijuana, and several hundred dollars in cash along with packaging materials.
According to the criminal complaint, the raid, executed by search warrant, was the result of an ongoing investigation during which officers were able to purchase drugs from Kunkel through use of a confidential informant (CI) on March 29 and again on April 6.
In the March transaction, Tamaqua Officer Anthony Stanell, and Task Force Officer Thomas Rodgers arranged for the purchase of $80 worth of cocaine from Kunkel with the assistance of the CI and the informant's cousin. The CI's cousin texted Kunkel to arrange the purchase, which ultimately was made at Kunkel's Ryan Avenue residence. According to the affidavit, Kunkel met the CI on Kunkel's front porch, and the two then entered the house. The transaction took only four minutes, after which the CI exited the house and got into his vehicle.
The transaction was videotaped by Rodgers.
A portion of the suspected cocaine was field tested by Rodgers and proved positive. The remaining portion was packaged, sealed and logged into evidence to be sent to the state police crime lab for further analysis.
In the April transaction, Stanell met with the CI and again a deal was set up via text messages directed to Kunkel for the purchase of $80 worth of cocaine.
Once again Kunkel met the CI on his front porch before the two entered the house.
That transaction took only two minutes, according information contained in the affidavit.
That second transaction was videotaped by Stanell.
The suspected cocaine was field tested by Stanell and tested positive, with the remaining portion packaged, sealed and logged into evidence for further analysis at the crime lab.
Kunkel was arrested without incident Thursday and taken to the township police station and then Tamaqua police station before being taken to Pottsville at 6 p.m. for arraignment at the Schuylkill County Prison via video-conference with on-call District Judge James Ferrier, Orwigsburg.
He faces six felony counts and various misdemeanor charges.
Among the charges are possession with intent to manufacture or deliver cocaine, possession with intent to deliver, unlawful possession of a controlled substance, and criminal use of a communication facility.
He was remanded to county prison in lieu of $10,000 straight cash bail.
Police said Kunkel currently is on state parole, as well.