$3.5 million meth ring busted in Berks, Bucks counties
Updated On: Nov 29 2012 04:33:29 AM CST
A major methamphetamine ring funneled more than $3 million worth of Mexican drugs through Reading and the Lehigh Valley, state police said.
Investigators have charged more than two dozen suspects in "Operation Blowout."
The operation brought in "as much as a pound of drugs every two weeks," said Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly.
The street value of those drugs was $60,000 a month, according to a grand jury report. The three-year investigation also recovered nearly 100 firearms and more than $100,000 in cash.
"You see these guns that are on the table," said Pa. State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan. "This is why you should care, because there's a lot of violence that is associated with methamphetamine."
The investigation began three years ago in Tioga County, by the New York state border, where undercover agents began buying meth. That led them to Reading and Berks County, where police said Robert H. Snyder, of Pottstown, Montgomery Co., was funneling meth in from the Mexican border. Authorities alleged another suspect, Raul Cosme, of Reading, was used as an intermediary.
"Detectives used surveillance and court-authorized wiretaps, along with more than 30 undercover drug buys, as well as controlled purchases from these individuals, to identify the various suppliers, distributors, and dealers," said Kelly.
Police arrested all but two of the suspects Tuesday. All were arraigned in Bucks County, where the entire group will be prosecuted. Both Cosme and Snyder are being held under $2 million cash bonds each.
The group was feeding rural Pennsylvania's growing appetite for deadly crystal meth, Noonan said.
"None of these people were pharmacists that are on this chart," he said. "They're guys mixing it up in a bathtub. There's people down in Mexico working next to a chicken ranch, mixing up these drugs and selling it here."
Police said the suspects all made up three loosely-related drug rings. Combined, police think they were supplying most of the street-level meth in our area.
Copyright 2012 WFMZ. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Crash involving overturned truck closes Route 222 in Richmond
Bank robbery suspect, getaway driver nabbed after police pursuit
Fire destroys well-known restaurant in Poconos
Workers sickened by unknown chemical in Northampton
Police: Wrong-way driver on Route 22 slammed into 4 cars, 5 people hurt
Pair arrested in carjacking crash that killed 3 children
AG warns of several phone scams making the rounds
Suspect in killings of 2 people in Idaho arrested in Reading
Police: Oversized truck may have damaged covered bridge
Man arrested over hidden cameras in restrooms