HAZLETON – A five-month long operation to sweep the city of Hazleton of drugs turned up a handful of alleged drug rings and more than 100 arrests. These are just a fraction of the people locked up in Hazleton in the last few months as part of Operation Rising Star.
It’s all part of the new Mobile Street Crime Unit that Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane helped establish in the city. It started with a tip line for officers.
“They immediately began purchasing heroin and identifying street dealers, cultivatng extreme sources of information,” said Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane.
This is all what police found: 35,000 packets of heroin, guns, TVs, cash, and more than 100 people arrested from six different drug trafficking operations.
“Feelings such as hope, empowerment, faith. General Kane through her task force has made just that impact,” said Hazleton Police Chief Frank DeAndrea.
Officials say this stop in Hazleton is just the first of many. They plan on taking this operation and using it across the state of Pennsylvania.
“Our offices along with our team members have identified 64 heroin stamps, 64 different stamps, and we have created a database to spread throughout the rest of the state,” said Kane.
Jack Amentler has lived in Hazleton for more than 50 years. He says after all the problems the city has seen in recent years. He’s happy there’s progress. He says he’s noticed the change.
“It feels great. It makes you want to stay here. I know there are a lot of people that don’t want to stay here, but i think it’s a great thing,” said Jack Amentler of Hazleton.
Law enforcement officials hope others will soon start to feel the same way about Hazleton.