Berks County drug trafficking operation busted, officials say

Arrest warrants issued for 25 drug suspects

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Published: May 16 2013 09:38:54 AM EDT   Updated On: May 17 2013 06:09:20 AM EDT
READING, Pa. -

A major drug trafficking operation is no more.

Berks County officials on Thursday announced the results of what they dubbed "Operation M3."

The operation, involving local, state and federal law enforcement authorities,  dismantled a drug organization involving 25 mid- to high-level individuals, said officials, adding that 19 of them have been apprehended.

The organization, officials said, was far-reaching, having ties to drug traffickers from New York, New Jersey, Texas, Colorado, Florida, Arizona and Mexico.

During a news conference Thursday afternoon, authorities put on display drugs, weapons and cash that were seized during the 10-month investigation.

"The success of dismantling this drug trafficking operation could only have been accomplished with the cooperative combined teamwork of local, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies," said District Attorney John Adams. "Today, we send a message to the drug dealers of our community that we will use every available law enforcement resource to bring them to justice."

The suspects were identified by Adams as:

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of the suspects who are still at large is asked to call Crime Alert Berks County's anonymous tip line at 877-373-9913.

The suspects face multiple charges, including conspiracy to distribute controlled substances (cocaine, heroin and marijuana); dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity; corrupt organizations and criminal use of communication facility.

Items seized during the investigation include 3 kilograms of cocaine with a street value of $300,000; 250 grams of heroin with a street value of $75,000; more than $50,000 in cash; three handguns and a sawed-off shotgun and a vehicle with a hidden trap to conceal contraband.