Heroin worth $20,000 seized in Jim Thorpe
Ron Gower/TIMES NEWS Looking over the 1,100 small packets of heroin obtained in a drug bust during a traffic stop in Jim Thorpe are, from left, Jim Thorpe Mayor Michael Sofranko; Chief of Police Joseph Schatz; police Officer Eric Schrantz, who is the arresting officer; and Detective Lee Marzen. The heroin has a value of about $20,000, police said.
A drug bust in Jim Thorpe on Friday resulted in the borough police confiscating an estimated $20,000 worth of heroin.
The borough's chief of police, Joseph Schatz, said this is the largest amount of drugs obtained during an arrest in his career.
Mayor Michael Sofranko said it also shows "there's a lot of this stuff around."
Arrested was Gregory Cadugan Jr., 42, of Center Avenue, Jim Thorpe.
He was charged with manufacture, delivery, or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver, which is a felony, and possession of a controlled substance, a misdemeanor.
He was arraigned before District Judge Edward Lewis of Jim Thorpe and committed to the Carbon County Correctional Facility in lieu of $75,000 straight bail.
Schatz said the heroin was bundled into 1,100 small packets smaller than the size of pepper packets. He said despite the large volume, it represents only about a two or three day distribution in the Jim Thorpe area.
The arresting officer is Officer Eric Schrantz, who said he had received a tip that Cadugan was going to be picking up a shipment of heroin in Allentown on Friday.
While monitoring traffic on Route 209, Schrantz said he viewed Cadugan pass in a Honda Accord. Cadugan pulled into the Turkey Hill parking lot. Upon exiting, police said he didn't use his turn signal, so they did a traffic stop.
Police said Cadugan declined to allow a search of his vehicle, so the K-9 unit of the Upper Macungie Police Department was dispatched. The K-9 gave a positive indication for suspected narcotics inside the vehicle, so a search warrant was obtained.
Assisting the Jim Thorpe Police Department were officers from the Upper Macungie Police Department, Mahoning Township Police Department, and Nesquehoning Police Department.
"This was all through a tip we received," Schatz said, stating he encourages residents to report any suspicious activity.
"People might think we don't get involved in any drug activity," he added. "This shows just what we do."
Mayor Sofranko praised the police officers, stating, "They did an outstanding job.
"They are out there working to protect the children," he said.
"This was a total team effort, from the chief on down," Sofranko continued.
It was one of two major drug busts in the area over the weekend. On Saturday, Lehighton Police assisted the Pa. State Attorney General's Office with breaking up a confirmed methamphetamine lab in Lehighton and arresting two individuals.