Narcotics officers in Lackawanna County used controlled drug purchases to charge three men. Both stings were remarkable for the amount of alleged heroin that was recovered in the stings. The three men now face criminal charges for various drug-related offenses.
In the first sting, Dunmore police and the Lackawanna County Drug Task Force arranged a controlled purchase of heroin from a alleged drug dealer. Police reportedly purchased five packets of heroin and then arrested the man. When police searched the man's car, they allegedly found 160 bags of heroin and $102 in cash. Another $630 was found in the man's pants pocket. About one hour after this arrest, police used another controlled drug buy to arrest two men believed to be on their way to Wilkes-Barre with heroin. The two men allegedly sold 20 bags of heroin stamped "Pepsi" to police in the controlled buy and they were then arrested after a botched attempt at escape. Police reportedly found another 80 bags of heroin, also stamped "Pepsi," in the vehicle.
Police in Lackawanna County and Wayne County have noticed an increase in drug overdoses, and they have accordingly stepped up enforcement efforts. One of the factors causing the increase in overdoses is the practice of cutting heroin with synthetic drugs. The synthetic opiate fentanyl is often used to cut heroin, and it has been blamed for several drug overdoses. Another synthetic opiate, carfentanil, has also been used to cut heroin, but no overdoses related to this drug have been supported in Lackawanna County.
All three men arrested in the stings are facing a variety of drug charges. Preliminary hearings are scheduled for this week. Anyone facing similar charges may wish to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney for an evaluation of the facts and law involved in the case and an estimate of the likelihood of obtaining a favorable plea agreement or an outright acquittal.
Source: Scranton-Times Tribune, "More than 200 bags of heroin taken after two stings in Scranton," Joseph Kohut, Oct. 1, 2016