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Nine charged with drug trafficking in Schuylkill

Members of the Schuylkill County Drug Task Force and Pennsylvania State Police fanned out Wednesday, taking nine people into custody in connection with drug trafficking in the county. Warrants were issued for the arrests of another dozen people in connection with the investigation.

Schuylkill County District Attorney Christine Holman noted the drug bust netted numerous mid-level drug dealers from throughout the county.

The nine suspects picked up on Wednesday were arraigned before three local district magistrates.

Magisterial District Judge James Reiley of Pottsville arraigned Shannon Stahr, 33, Disiree Weaver, 24, Joshua Ney, 23, Joshua Siluk, 24, Scott Schoffstal and Thomas Weikel, 40, all of Pottsville; and Scott Dietrich, 22, of Schuylkill Haven.

Paula Mascotte, 47, of New Philadelphia was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge David Plachko of Port Carbon, while Tim Weikel, 29, of Pottsville, was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Christina Hale.

While executing the arrest warrants, officers found several drug related items at a home at 64 Main St., Mount Carbon. A search and seizure warrant was granted by the court, resulting in the confiscation of 466 glassine packets containing suspected heroin with a street value of $4,000; 18 baggies containing suspected methamphetamine valued at $1,400; $1414 in cash; and numerous items used for packaging and distributing narcotics.

Additional charges are pending from this seizure.

Assisting district attorney and state police officials were law enforcement officers from Mahanoy Township, Saint Clair, Pottsville, Ashland, Rush Township, Frackville, Mahanoy City, Schuylkill Haven, Hegins Township and Tamaqua and the Schuylkill County Sheriff’s Office.

Suspects still wanted are: Jessica Siluk, 24, of Pottsville; Richard Bealer, 35, of New Ringgold; Karissa Shumgart, 28, of Pottsville; Edward Heister, 21, of Pottsville, Jonathan Shellhammer, 35, of Pottsville, Kevin Hargraves, 29, of Pottsville; Timothy Ebert, 23, of Pottsville; Derek Whitman, 22, of Saint Clair; Daniel Stoudt Jr, 41, of New Philadelphia; Melissa Knier, 35, of Frackville; Edward Rivera Jr., formerly of Tamaqua; and Jason Frew, 39, of Tremont.

Rivera is currently an inmate at the Carbon County Correctional Facility in Nesquehoning. Anyone knowing the whereabouts of any of the other suspects may call the D.A.’s office at 570-628-1350.