Investigators across Berks County arrested more than a dozen suspected drug dealers during an early-morning raid on Wednesday, the culmination of a year-long investigation.
"We want to send a message to drug dealers out there… we will use every available law enforcement resource to arrest them and bring them to justice," said Berks County District Attorney John Adams.
Only 69 News cameras were there during the substantial bust, wherein police netted a total of 14 suspected street- to mid-level drug dealers.
Police issued a total of 29 arrest warrants. Those in custody are:
- Leon Wright III
- Michael Carrol
- Hardy Ramos
- Jose Echevarria
- Leonard King AKA "Lo-Elz"
- Jose Restituyo
- Aaron Morales
- Bianca Lebron
- Adberty Ortiz
- Natividad Castellano
- Sandy Peguero-Campos
- Michael Martoral
- Carlos Ortiz
Those still being sought are:
- Emanuel Rodriguez-Santos
- Tiffany Graeff
- Arnaldo Rodriguez-Rosario
- Isaac Rivera-Castro
- Jermarco McReynolds
- Ricardo Rios
- Joshua Camacho AKA "Macho"
- Raymond Luis Torres
- Alexander Williams
- Travis Jackson
- Mattlon Proctor
- Antonio Munoz-Rivera
- Jonathan Luis-Martinez
- Jose Martinez-Echevarria
- Shareef Morrison
- Tawesuck Steven Sysehn (Charged only with possession)
All but one of the suspects, Sysehn, is accused of selling marijuana, cocaine and heroin throughout Reading. Sysehn is charged only with possession, while the other suspects are charged with possession, distribution and other offenses.
According to police, two of the suspects -- Luis-Martinez and Martinez-Echevarria -- have ties to Allentown. The rest are believed to reside in Reading, police said.
During the roundup, investigators also arrested a suspected dealer who was not originally being sought. That suspect, Eric Jefferson, was reportedly in the middle of a drug sale when he was spotted by detectives. He was found in possession of nearly $2,000 in cash and $9,000 worth in heroin, police said.
More than 40 investigators took part in the raid, including detectives with the Berks County Drug Task Force, Reading vice officers, and state police.
"We have multiple agencies working together to continue the battle against this drug problem," said Adams.
Adams told 69 News that the investigation was conducted in response to complaints from concerned citizens in Reading.
He also called the raid a "follow-up" effort to a prior bust in June, called "Operation Tourniquet," in which 42 suspected drug dealers were eventually arrested.
Residents told 69 News that they are relieved to see police cracking down on the rising drug problem.
"I'm so happy," said Judith Morales.
"It is so unfortunate that in a little city as this is, we have a lot of drugs," said Carolyn Youngs, of Reading. "Yes, we pray, but we also have to take an active point, and that is arresting the drug dealers."
Adams said police need the public's help in tracking down the suspects who are at large. Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Alert Berks County at 877-373-9913.