Hazleton Police Department's 'Ceasefire Street Crime Unit' leads to more arrests


The Hazleton Police Department's newly-formed Street Crime Unit arrested one person on drug charges.

The unit and officers were on patrol on 11th Street Sunday when they saw two vehicles parked in the middle of the street with their lights on.

Moments later, the cars fled the scene at a high speed, according to a release from police. Police stopped the vehicles in the area of 16th and Alter streets.

One of the drivers, identified as Devin Fleming, 25, immediately got out of the car and "aggressively approached the officers," police said.

In the other car, officers observed several small baggies of suspected crack cocaine. The 20-year-old driver of that car, Jmarr Pierce, was taken into custody. A search of the vehicle yielded suspected heroin/fentanyl and methamphetamine, police said.

Both men were taken to the Hazleton police station for further investigation.

Pierce was charged with three felony drug charges of possession with intent to deliver, and was transported to Luzerne County Correctional Facility for arraignment. Police said his bail was set at $75,000.

There's no word on charges brought against Fleming.

The recent arrests are thanks to a new force called "Ceasefire Street Crime Unit" that proactively patrols the city of Hazleton in unmarked police cars and plainclothes officers.

On Friday night, Hazleton police arrested 25-year-old David Negron after he was pulled over. Police found over 100 bags of heroin, 29 grams meth and a bag of cocaine in his vehicle.

"We will continue to be proactive in our policing as well as visible to the community," said Hazleton Chief of Police Jerry Speziale.

West Hazleton Police also assisted.

The goal of the force is to reduce violence, crime and disorder within the Hazleton community, police said.