Several people in Luzerne County were charged Thursday with being involved in an alleged drug ring.
Federal and local authorities said the drug ring was operating out of a business along with several homes and bars in Luzerne County.
The eight suspects nabbed by federal agents Wednesday night.
Those arrested are: Leroy Leonard Trudgen, William McDonald, Leslie Williams, Denise Trudgen and Martin Curry, all of Pittston, Martin Williams and Brian Amos, both of Plains and Joseph Shotwell of Wilkes-Barre.
Witnesses said several raids took place Wednesday evening in the Pittston area including one at Roy’s High Tread Used Tires on South Main Street in Pittston, owned by Leroy Trudgen.
The FBI did not confirm the raid was at Roy’s Tires, but did say the raids took place Wednesday evening at several homes, bars and a business in the Pittston area.
Before the arraignment started, several friends and family members of the suspects inside the courtroom called Leroy Trudgen the ringleader, but a friend of Trudgen who didn’t want to be identified said she never saw any cocaine at the tire store.
“I can`t believe it. I am in shock still. I can`t believe this,” the friend said.
All suspects, except for Leroy Trudgen, have been released until their preliminary hearings, scheduled for next month.
This charge carries a possible sentence of 10 years to life behind bars and a $10,000,000 fine.
Court papers state the amount of cocaine used in this suspected drug ring is around five kilograms and prosecutors said that is why the penalties are so severe.
The FBI said the eight suspects were involved in a long-standing, widespread drug distribution network.