Federal, Local Investigators Search Properties in Luzerne County

FREELAND -- Federal and local police are searching several properties in Luzerne County.

There was a large police presence along Centre Street in Freeland Monday morning -- police from at least three communities, the Luzerne County Drug Task Force, state police, the FBI, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The ATF is the lead agency on this. A spokesperson for that agency tells Newswatch 16 Roberto Torner and Liza Robles are suspected of setting a fire in Weatherly, Carbon County in August of last year.

Newswatch 16 spoke with Torner and Robles earlier this year.

Torner is also a suspect in a Kidder Township fire. One of Torner's employees is also suspected of drug-related crimes.

We spoke with a woman who lives across the street, and a man who owns property on the same block.

"I just heard the screaming and the banging and the windows, and I looked out the window and was told to get inside," recalled Betty Graves.

"I was a little surprised when I got texts this morning that this was going on next door, but I don't know what's going on right now," said David Purcell.

Police spent hours at the scene taking boxes and bags out of the building.

Police were also spotted a block away at a pink apartment building.

Neighbors say the properties are owned by Rob Torner.

A check with Freeland officials shows the properties are owned by a limited liability corporation controlled by Rob Torner.

Torner and Robles are due in court Monday afternoon.

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