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Police Announce Success of Mobile Street Crimes Unit

February 20, 2014- Don Rooney
HAZLETON- In September, Attorney General Kathleen Kane assigned a mobile quick-response task force to Hazleton in Luzerne County to take on the drug trade there. Its success there could mean many such task forces deployed across Pennsylvania. 

Senator John Yudichak, Attorney General Kathleen Kane and Hazleton Police Chief Frank DeAndrea held a joint press conference to announce the successes of the Mobile Street Crimes Unit in Hazleton. In five months, "Operation Rising Star," in conjunction with 16 local, state and federal agencies, identified six drug trafficking organizations operating in Hazleton with ties to street gangs.

The Operation led to over 100 arrests and approximately 35,000 packets of heroin seized. In just the last 3 days, agents have made 30 arrests and seized 9,060 packets of heroin. Attorney General Kane deployed the Mobile Street Crimes Unit (known as X-IMPACT) to Hazleton in September to assist the Hazleton City Police Department. The Attorney General says Hazleton has become a breeding ground for the distribution of heroin - Interstates 80 and 81 intersect in Hazleton, and there are several cargo airports and two major railways. The main sources of heroin into Hazleton are New York City and northern New Jersey, and Hazleton is a sub source of heroin into the Scranton and Wilkes-Barre regions. Other drugs encountered in Hazleton included powder cocaine, crack cocaine, diverted prescription pills, marijuana and synthetic marijuana.

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