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Authorities rounding up suspected drug dealers in Berks

By Jennifer Joas, Reporter, JJoas@wfmz.com
Published On: Sep 05 2013 09:30:01 PM CDT
Updated On: Sep 06 2013 05:49:44 AM CDT

Investigators in Reading say they nabbed six drug dealers and dozens of users during a two day sting.

READING, Pa. -

Investigators in Reading say they nabbed six drug dealers and dozens of users during a two-day sting.

Detectives spent two months investigating the area of South Sixth and Chestnut streets. They say not only is that area notorious for drug activity, but police were also receiving calls from concerned citizens. Neighbors say it is no surprise drug deals are made in that area.

"With the way Reading is, there are sometimes when you see things that are going on that are not so ok. But then you realize yeah, it is an inner city. So this kind of stuff does happen," said neighbor Chance Singleton.

"You know, I know no matter where you go, any neighborhood is bad. But this is really bad," said neighbor Valerie Schalata.

Police say the six dealers and 22 users they arrested were involved with both heroin and crack cocaine. They say both drugs are prevalent in Reading, but heroin is consuming the drug trafficking in Berks County.

"It is the most addictive and most dangerous drug that can be attained here in our county. It has become a plague," said Berks County District Attorney John Adams.

Neighbors say they are relieved these men are off the streets.

"I have children and for them to see the drug dealers and the drug paraphernalia laying around on the street and the prostitutes, it is good to see that they are taking action to take them away," said Schalata.

But community members say this will not change their outlook on Reading.

"I know that there are a lot of good people in this town as well," said Singleton.

Detectives have issued warrants for six additional suspects who could not be located during the round-up. They have not released their names.