READING, Pa. - It took authorities just less than two weeks to bring down what they said was a major drug operation.
Tens of thousands of dollars worth of heroin was being funneled from New York to Berks County, officials said.
Melvin Almonte Guzman took phone orders for heroin to be delivered to the Reading area, authorities said.
"I would consider Guzman to be a top player," M. Theresa Johnson, first assistant district attorney, said after Guzman's confiscated phone began to ring.
Detectives, who said they have been watching Guzman since the beginning of August, arranged to make a purchase.
Guzman, they said, showed up in the 1200 block of Penn Avenue in Wyomissing with Kelvin Mejia and Tinmarson De La Cruz.
Authorities said they managed to purchase a $1,300 bag of heroin.
"The detectives quickly took the operation down and arrested the three of them on the spot," said Johnson.
Police said they searched the car and uncovered a hidden compartment in which they found bulk heroin worth about $30,000.
"These players, these guys from New York, are bringing it in. It would have been taken down to mid level dealers. They would have had their people break it up. It would have been sold in what we call dime bags," Johnson said.
Guzman and his organization allegedly used Route 222 to transport the bulk heroin throughout the region.
"This investigation was completed very quickly because it was such a large amount of heroin," Johnson said. "Heroin is a very dangerous drug."
Guzman, 32, of Greenwich, Conn.; Mejia, 34, of Queens Village, N.Y.; and Lantigua-Delacruz, 36, of Bronx, N.Y. were charged with possession with the intent to deliver heroin, conspiracy and related offenses.
Allentown, PA 18102