DICKSON CITY — Four state troopers were hurt during an undercover drug buy in Lackawanna County.
The troopers from the barracks in Dunmore were hospitalized Thursday night after they were hit by a car.
It happened in the parking lot of the Viewmont Mall in Dickson City after 6 p.m. Thursday.
Troopers said they boxed the suspect in with their vehicles when he put the car into drive and hit three other troopers with the open doors of his vehicle before hitting another car.
Eventually, Joseph Klecha, 26, from Montrose was arrested after being shot by a stun gun.
State police tell us this was an important arrest and often in undercover buys, the dealer dictates where the drug buy is going to go down.
Troopers said they evaluated the risk and went through with the bust at the mall, with numerous troopers hiding nearby as backup.
When Klecha tried to get away, the undercover troopers had him mostly boxed in with vehicles. Trooper said he hit them trying to take off, but couldn’t get away.
Police said Klecha was hurt in the struggle getting him into custody.
“In undercover operations, they like to do what they like to do. They like to pick the locations so they think they’re in charge and they know what they’re doing, so it’s upon us to make sure the public is safe in these operations,” said Cpl. Michael Carroll of the Pennsylvania State Police.
Cpl. Carroll said even though the four troopers were hurt, that was them doing their job making sure no one else was at risk
He says the bust and arrest at the Viewmont Mall also helped troopers find and arrest a key member of a drug operation from New Jersey to here that police have been following for months. Keyamo Nelson, 31, from New Jersey is now in jail.
Investigators went to a hotel on Main Street in Dickson City where they arrested Nelson and confiscated drugs. They seized 260 bags of heroin and $900 in cash.
State police said the injured troopers and suspect are expected to recover.