Berks

Human trafficking probe linked to Reading rooming house

READING, Pa. - Many in a Reading neighborhood continue to have questions after a swarm of police officers and federal agents raided a boarding house in the 100 block of South 4th Street.

According to court documents released Thursday, police and the feds were serving a warrant as part of an ongoing investigation of human trafficking and drugs.

"I came out the door and the cops... they told me to go back in," said one neighbor, who wished to remain anonymous. "It's danger. They got kids around here."

Federal prosecutors and law enforcement officials who traveled to Reading on Thursday for an unrelated news conference had no comment.

Authorities made at least one arrest, albeit on an unrelated drug charge; they booked 23-year-old Tatyana Rivera after police said they found crack cocaine in her living space, which was connected to a room they were searching.

Neighbors said while they haven't heard any rumblings of human trafficking, they said they believe there is drug activity.

"They call it the crack house, the drug house," said another anonymous neighbor." A lot of people, they come inside, come inside every day, almost 24 hours a day."

Another neighbor, Dennis Wertz, said he's lived in the area for 25 years. He wants police to put an end to whatever is going on inside the building.

"I knew it was a bad scene there, but that's it. I walk my dog and walk by 'em," said Wertz. "It goes through so many tenants in there, and it's just bad. Makes it bad for the block, really."


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