An attempted murderer and a teenager are being held on $1 million bail each in Lehigh County after a drug investigation turned up a stolen handgun and what investigators called a significant amount of heroin, methamphetamine, marijuana and cocaine.
Authorities charged Wesley D. Perone, 39, and Ashleem Vanessa Rivera Rodriguez, 19, following their arrest outside the CVS at 1601 Liberty St. Monday and a subsequent search of their North 15th Street apartment. They were arraigned Tuesday on two separate sets of charges, setting bail in each case at $500,000.
Authorities said Perone was the subject of an ongoing investigation by the Lehigh County Drug Task Force when he was apprehended outside the Liberty Street CVS shortly before 5:30 p.m. Monday. Investigators believed he was delivering heroin and meth, according to court records.
Police confiscated 18 bundles of heroin, meth and cocaine along with four cell phones and a “large sum of money,” according to records. Authorities also apprehended Rodriguez, who was sitting in the driver’s seat of a car rented by Perone. Police said they found a joint in the car next to Rodriguez.
Following the arrest outside the pharmacy, investigators executed a search warrant about 9:30 p.m. on their apartment in the 400 block of North 15th Street. The search turned up a “significant amount” of heroin packaged for sale along with meth, pot and cocaine.
The Lehigh County District Attorney's Office said authorities seized more than 68 bundles of heroin, about 2 ounces of meth, 1 ounce of crack and a pound of marijuana.
Investigators found a scale, rubber bands, baggies, a vacuum sealer, a large amount of cash, a bulletproof vest, a Ruger LCP .380 handgun and a Hi Standard revolver reported stolen in November 2015 by the Upper Macungie Township police.
Authorities said Perone is a convicted felon and prohibited from possessing a firearm. In 1999, Perone and his twin brother pleaded guilty in Lehigh County Court to attempted homicide in connection to the 1998 beating and shooting of Don Christopher in Allentown. Authorities said Perone’s brother was the one who shot the victim.
Perone now faces seven felony counts of possession with intent to deliver, two felony counts of possession of a firearm and one felony count of receiving stolen property along with seven misdemeanor counts of possession of a controlled substance and single misdemeanor counts of possession of a small amount of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Rodriguez faces seven felony counts of possession with intent to deliver, seven misdemeanor counts of possession of a controlled substance and single misdemeanor counts of possession of a small amount of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Both were sent to Lehigh County Jail to await a preliminary hearing tentatively scheduled for Oct. 18.