LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – A recent drug bust has set a new record, according to the Lancaster County district attorney’s office.
Task force agents seized over a kilogram of heroin, worth an estimated $300,000, last month during a vehicle stop in the city. The 1,179 grams of heroin found during the vehicle stop was the most heroin ever seized by the task force during a single search, Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman said.
“It’s going to make a huge difference for the community,” he told ABC 27 News. “It’s going to save people’s lives because it’s a lot of heroin.”
Police believe the heroin was to be distributed in the Ephrata and East Lampeter/Leola area.
Three individuals who police say are involved in the cartel have been arrested in connection.
Larry Michael Anne, 49, of Leola, Anthony N. Santiago, 26, of Lancaster and Lindsay R. Trout, 25, of Columbia were all committed to Lancaster County Prison. Anne and Santiago’s bail was set at $1 million. Trou’s bail was set at $250,000.
A search of Anne’s home in Leola led agents to discovering a sawed-off shotgun and items linked to heroin packaging/dealing, including a coffee grinder, scale, and rice to keep the heroin dry.
“It came from New Jersey is what I understand,” Stedman said when asked where the heroin came from. “Most heroin in the country is coming from Mexico. This particular, from what I understand, came from New Jersey.”
The arrests were just a few in a recent string where eight others were also taken into custody.
Angel Noel Martinez, 25, Shiree Laverne Gray, 48, Javonne T. King, 25, Alvin J. Santos, 24, Victor Virola, 23, Michael T. Stewart, 37, Kenton S. Reid, 44, and Syeen Y. Hill, 35 were also arrested.
Police said Virola was charged for involuntary manslaughter for selling a batch of heroin that was linked to a man’s death.
“Unfortunately, we’re probably going to see more of these,” Stedman told ABC 27 News. “It might get worse before it gets better.”
Stedman said the arrests highlight the heroin problem in Lancaster County. He said it will take a combined effort to take care of the issue.
“We’re facing just a multi-pronged assault and new challenges we didn’t before,” Stedman said.
Stedman said one thing he would like to see if stiffer penalties for drug dealers.
Police said they expect to make more arrests as part of the ongoing investigation.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Lancaster County Drug Task Force at 717-295-3612.