Lehigh Valley

ICE raids Northampton pizza shop, police charge shop owner

Man charged with dealing cocaine, detained by ICE

NORTHAMPTON, Pa. - Authorities in Northampton County assisted customs agents raid a Northampton Borough pizza shop, where investigators believed the owner was dealing cocaine.

Police charged Luis C. Sagastume-Contreras, of North Lehigh Street in Allentown, with possession of a controlled substance and possession with intent to deliver following his arrest Tuesday afternoon. District Judge Antonia Grifo arraigned the 36-year-old late Tuesday night, setting bail at $75,000 with a 10 percent cash option if approved by Northampton County pre-trial services.

Northampton police assisted an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent, who developed information that wanted suspects were working at Palmero’s Pizzeria, 1401 Main St., according to court records. The agent alleged employees, specifically the shop owner and manager Sagastume-Contreras, were trafficking cocaine, according to records.

The Northampton police officer, who is also a member of the Northampton County Drug Task Force, had conducted surveillance and allegedly watched people arrive after closing and stay for a brief time, according to records.

Accompanied by members of the drug task force, ICE detained everyone inside except one person, including Sagastume-Contreras. The building owner granted authorities permission to search the building.

Authorities allegedly found 6 grams of cocaine, about $3,100 in cash and a ledger that “seemed to indicate monies owed and given,” according to records. Investigators allege they also found empty baggies and a small scale locked in a filing cabinet.

An employee told authorities that Sagastume-Contreras was the only person who used the office. ICE is filing a detainer against him.

Sagastume-Contreras failed to post bail and was sent to Northampton County Prison to await a preliminary hearing scheduled for April 28.

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