Beating victim facing drug charges
A Coaldale man whose son was charged on April 10 with beating him up is now facing charges of his own.
Borough police have charged Leonard Ruggiero Sr., 53, of 101 First St., with intent to deliver, methamphetamine, a controlled substance (felony), illegally possessing methamphetamine (a misdemeanor) in connection with a drug bust on Tuesday.
In a related matter, Ruggiero Sr. also faces the same set of charges stemming from a Nov. 4, 2010 incident in which Ruggiero allegedly sold an informant one gram of cocaine.
Ruggiero was arraigned before District Judge Stephen Bayer of Tamaqua and jailed under a total of $30,000 percentage bail ($15,000 on each set of charges).
According to an affidavit of probable cause filed with Bayer by Officer Charles A. Blesse, here's what happened on April 19:
At about 7:15 p.m., Blesse, along with Criminal Investigator Todd Weiss and Police Chief Timothy Delaney, made a controlled buy - $160 worth of methamphetamine - from Ruggiero through a confidential informant. The buy took place between 7:15 and 9:30 p.m. at the corner of Second Street and East Ridge Street.
Before the buy was made, the informant came to the police station, where Weiss searched him and his car to make sure he had no controlled substances. Police followed the informant to the corner of Second and East Ridge, and Delaney watched as Ruggiero exited a bar and approached the driver's side of the informant's vehicle.
The informant told Ruggiero he wanted to buy $160 worth of methamphetamine. Ruggiero allegedly told the informant "no problem. Just make sure you cut it up. It's really good."
The informant gave Ruggiero the money and Ruggiero counted the cash and handed the informant two small bags containing a white crystalline substance.
Police followed the informant back to the police station. The informant was taken into the station and handed over the bags. He was searched and gave a written statement of the events that had taken place.
The substance in the bags was tested, and found to be methamphetamine. It was then sent to the state police crime lab in Bethlehem, which confirmed that it was 2.5 grams of the drug.
It was the second controlled drug buy that police had made with Ruggiero.
The first was on Nov. 4. According to an affidavit of probable cause filed by Blesse, he, Weiss and Delaney made the buy through an informant at the corner of Third and East High streets. between 2:30-7 p.m. The informant was searched before and after the buy.
The informant contacted Ruggiero to buy a gram of cocaine. Police followed the informant to the location, then watched as Ruggiero met the informant. The informant gave Ruggiero $90, and Ruggiero handed him the drug.
Police followed the informant to the Lansford Borough police station, searched him after he gave them the 1/2 gram of white, powdery substance that Ruggiero had sold him for $45.
The informant was searched and filled out a written statement of the events.
The substance was tested and found to weigh 0.23 grams and to contain cocaine.
Police charged Ruggiero's son, Leonard Ruggiero Jr., with simple assault and harassment on April 10 for allegedly beating his father up in the parking lot of 336 Ridge Terrace.