17 arrested in cocaine trafficking bust

Federal and local authorities have arrested 17 people in Cumberland County on charges they were taking part in a cocaine trafficking operation.

The suspects were rounded up Wednesday by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives and Carlisle police.

Each were arraigned Thursday in federal court. They are identified as Arnold Ashwell, Walter Fickes, Bernadette Green, Charles Green, Robert Green, Michael Konetsco, Heather Middleton, Starlene Middleton, John Mowery, Joseph Mowery, Roy Singer, Aunye Stackfield, Gary Stackfield, Justin Thompson, Nick Vrataric, Korey Wooten, and John Zaengle.

Each were charged with felony counts including possession with intent to distribute cocaine and conspiracy. They face penalties of 10-84 years in prison plus fines.

The arrests came after a grand jury was presented evidence and returned indictments in the case, but the U.S. Attorney's Office in Harrisburg has sealed the indictments and has not discussed the investigation or arrests.

Each pleaded not guilty at their arraignments. Most were freed on $20,000 unsecured bail. A trial date was set for August.

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