More than $1M in drugs, cash seized in Schuylkill and Luzerne counties
SUMMIT STATION — Over $1 million in illegal narcotics and cash were seized Tuesday as part of a drug investigation that spanned nine months in Schuylkill and Luzerne counties.
“Today is a good day for law enforcement in Schuylkill County and a bad day to be a drug dealer,” said Schuylkill County District Attorney Michael A. O’Pake during a Tuesday afternoon press conference at the state police station near Summit Station.
O’Pake said the investigation led to charges against 14 people. He said 12 of the 14 were taken into custody, arraigned and jailed while arrest warrants were obtained for the remaining two.
Charged in connection with the drug selling operation were:
Miguel Carrasquillo Aponinaris, aka Domi, of Hazleton. Felix Diaz of Hazleton.
Yensi Mateo of Hazleton. Manuel Dlijden of Hazleton. Martin Diaz of Hazleton. Cassandra O’Doherty, aka CC, of Mar Lin.
Anthony H. Catizone of Ashland.
Douglass Huyett Pottsville.
Dennis Shafe of Pottsville.
Jeremy Wengert of Schuylkill Haven.
Shelia Carter of Pottsville. of
Sharon Smith of Fredericksburg.
Christopher L. Madenford of Joliett.
Joseph J. Ganunis of Saint Clair.
O’Pake did not say which two of the 14 are at large or the charges filed against each.
With the drugs, cash and drug paraphernalia laid out on a table at the police barracks, O’Pake pointed out the large amounts of heroin, methamphetamine and fentanyl that were confiscated.
He said authorities took in more than 5 pounds each of methamphetamine and fentanyl and over a pound of heroin.
“This is well in excess of $1 million,” O’Pake said, adding that he believes Tuesday’s operation was the largest drug confiscation in Schuylkill County.
He said those taken into custody Tuesday are familiar names in the illegal drug trade.
“They have been doing it for years,” he said, adding it is believed that Miguel Carrasquillo Aponinaris is one of the major players in the operation.
Taking part were state police, the Schuylkill County and Luzerne County district attorney’s offices, the Schuylkill County Drug Task Force and police from Ashland, Frackville, Butler Township, Pottsville, Schuylkill Haven and Tower City.