Officials Ask Community To Help After Recent Drug Busts

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SHICKSHINNY -- An emergency news conference was held Saturday by the mayor of Shickshinny after at least two meth lab busts in less than a week in the borough.

Three people were arrested in just five days for allegedly running meth labs out of their homes. Cops say there are more suspected labs yet to be busted.

Now, the mayor and part-time police cheif in small-town Shickshinny, are appealing to the state and members of that community for help.

Shickshinny Mayor Beverly Moore handed down a stern warning to drug dealers in her community.  Over a short period of time, two meth labs have been busted in this part of Luzerne County

Leading to three arrests, police say they uncovered a meth lab at a home along Bear Street.  Steven Reider of Shickshinny was taken into custody.

Just a few days later two more arrests were made. This time a husband and wife duo: David and Victoria Maslar.

"It's been a 4-5 month investigation so far that I've been working on, but it's still an active investigation," said Shickshinny Police Chief Brian Morris.

The latest drug sweep which led to an arrest happened on Glen Avenue.  Now, the property is condemned until officials in Shickinny conclude their investigation.

John Decowski is a long-time resident of Shickshinny.  He was also the landlord where one of the meth labs was busted.  Decowski says he had been trying to evict David and Vicotria Maslar for sometime.

"I have to pay the taxes, I have to pay the insurance, I have to jump through all kinds of hoops to get my house back," Decowski said. "Now, something is wrong."

"The investigation itself has been pretty much been done within the department," Chief Morris said.

A department that currently only has two police officers.  Both of them part-time, totaling less than 40 hours of on-duty time per week.  A limited police force is a problem Mayor Moore says Shickshinny needs help with.

"I am also calling on all of our County and state officials and agencies to assist us at this time," Moore said.

Another problem according to the mayor, is people who are afraid to come forward to report suspected crimes.  She says intimidation has gone on long enough.

"You can talk to me and tell me anything. 'you're going to blow up my car. you're going to burn down my house, you're going to slash my tires.'  Well, buddy, bring it on," Moore urged.

Police there in Shickshinny are urging residents who notice anything suspicious to call 911.  Meantime, the mayor and police chief say: the fight against drugs in Shickshinny has just begun.