Over $1 million in drugs seized in Schuylkill County’s “Operation Strike Three”
Schuylkill County authorities announce results of “Operation Strike Three” on Tuesday. The drug sweep netted over $1 million of fentanyl, methamphetamine and heroin.
From left are Schuylkill County Assistant District Attorney A.J. Serina, Pennsylvania State Police Troop L Public Information Officer David Beohm, PSP Troop L Lt. Scott Brennan, PSP Troop L station commander Michael Sadusky and Schuylkill County District Attorney Mike O’Pake.
LISA PRICE/TIMES NEWS
One million dollars.
That’s the street value of the fentanyl, heroin and methamphetamine seized during Schuylkill County’s largest drug bust – dollar wise – Tuesday.
Law enforcement personnel from 10 entities combined efforts to charge 14 people, 12 from Schuylkill County and 2 from Luzerne County, with drug-related crimes. Police seized 5 pounds of meth, 5 pounds of fentanyl and 1 pound of heroin, with a combined street value of over one million dollars. The 5 pounds of fentanyl had the greatest street value, estimated at more than $700,000.
At 2 p.m. Tuesday, officials gathered at the State Police Barracks, Troop L, Schuylkill Haven, to announce the busts, called Operation Strike Three. Bags of the various drugs, some in bulk powder, some packaged, covered the table, as well as scales, packaging materials and cash.
Schuylkill County District Attorney Mike O’Pake said that the investigations took place over a period of about nine months, with the Luzerne arrests stemming from information from Schuylkill County.
“It was a concerted effort by everyone involved,” O’Pake said, making special notice of work by Assistant District Attorney A. J. Serina. “I’m proud of what’s going on in the fight against drugs – if you’re a drug dealer, be careful, we’re coming to get you.”
The investigation and arrests involved the district attorneys from Schuylkill and Luzerne counties, Pennsylvania State Police Troops L and N, and police departments from Butler Township, Schuylkill Haven, Pottsville, Tower City, Ashland and Frackville.
O’Pake said that a press release detailing individual charges would be released Wednesday. Five people from Hazleton were arrested, Miguel Apolinaris, Felix Diaz, Yensi Matea, Manuel Blijden and Martin Diaz; and three from Pottsville, Douglass Huyett, Dennis Shafe and Shelia Carter. The others arrested include Cassandra O’Doherty, Mar Lin, Anthony Catizone, Ashland, Jeremy Wengert, Schuylkill Haven, Sharon Smith, Fredericksburg, Christopher Madenford, Joliet and Joseph Ganunis, Saint Clair. Twelve of those charged are currently incarcerated in Schuylkill County Prison, but two people – Shafe and Ganunis – remain at large with warrants posted for their arrests.