Lehigh Valley

Police: Suspected dealer fakes medical issue to hide heroin

Officers were watching American Parkway Plaza

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Allentown police allege that a suspected drug dealer faked a medical condition in hopes of diverting attention from the 50 baggies of heroin hiding in his pants.

Authorities arrested David Vega and Jared Hontz, no address provided for either man, after allegedly witnessing a drug deal go down in the American Parkway Plaza Friday evening. District Judge Donna Butler arraigned the pair late Friday night, setting bail for Vega at $70,000 and at $17,000 for Hontz.

Members of the Allentown Police Department’s vice and intelligence unit were conducting surveillance about 5:30 p.m., when they watched a black Mercedes pull into the American Parkway Plaza parking lot, according to court records. Police said the passenger stepped out of the car and exchanged something with a person in the lot. Investigators said they later discovered he was in possession of heroin.

Police followed the Mercedes as it left the parking lot and stopped the car in the 1600 block of South Fourth Street. Authorities said they found 10 baggies of heroin and a straw in the passenger-side door, where Hontz was sitting.

He allegedly admitted to police that he dealt heroin in the American Parkway Plaza on the orders of Vega. Police said they were familiar with Vega from an ongoing drug investigation.

Police apprehended Vega and allegedly found two cell phones and $752. When he arrived at the police station, Vega allegedly faked a medical condition in efforts to conceal the heroin baggies in his pants that were the same as the ones officers found in the passenger door, according to court records.

Vega allegedly told police that he was unemployed and that the only drugs he had were the ones they found.

Police charged Vega with possession with intent to deliver, possession of a controlled substance and tampering with evidence. He was released Saturday after posting bail.

His passenger, meanwhile, remains in Lehigh County Jail on drug possession and possession of drug paraphernalia charges after he failed to post bail. Both men are scheduled for June 30 preliminary hearings.

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