Kicking Drugs Out of Hazleton

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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.


  • Wake up

    I must expand on a poster’s comments. An arrest is just the beginning; a conviction is what keeps our communities safe. Certain prosecutors within this organization have no place collecting a tax-funded salary. When is Kathy Kane going to realize that Timmy Doherty’s level of incompetence is well known beyond the law community at this point. When one of your subordinates lies to a judge and thinks nothing of it, what else does he think is ok? He can’t even comprehend the concept of something as simple as the sixth amendment? This case reminds me of his total incompetence in Luzerne County corrections officers’ case (see attached link). A hard working person, whose life was turned upside due to Timmy’s incompetence. Maybe he should go back to being the beat cop that yells “I’ll go get help” when one of his fellow officers is fighting with a perp. Come on, already, get rid off this tax-funded, incompetent, waste of space.

  • uiop (@uiop2791)

    Taking drug dealers off the street is a praiseworthy achievement, and keeps our communities safe. Unfortunately, Ms. Kane is a coach who raises the trophy over her head at the beginning of the game. Concurrent braking news, reported by Scranton Times investigative journalist Terrie Morgan-Besecker, is a perfect example of an arrogant coach of a losing team. The article highlights Deputy Attorney General Tim Doherty, one of Ms. Kane’s top law enforcement officers, and his incomprehensible incompetence that is most likely going to lead to a drug dealing gang member going free.

  • Me

    The ghetto of hazleton is a lost cause. If you drive through the entire town is an eyesore. Thugs robbing people in broad daylight while the cops sit at turkey hill. 100 people out of 15000 illegal immigrants in that city. Hey Kane,…let me ask you, how many of these people are going to be deported or are you going to waste taxpayers money keeping them in prison??? Huh?
    Nowhere in this article does it mention deportation. Can someone please call the national guard. The ghetto of hazleton is under seige my illegal Dominicans and Mexicans.
    They need to go door to door in every single home , kick down their door and DRAG them out of their dope houses. We don’t need Kane!!!
    We need the army to save this city. Just ask Lou Barletta. He used illegal immigration as a platform to secure a spot in Washington. And he hasn’t done anything since claiming his seat. SOS the city of hazleton is under seige. Someone please help. And no, not you Kane. You do more harm than good. What do you think is going to happen when your little street unit goes to Philly or Allentown ? Bet you lose at least 3 or 4 in gunfire. You better know why you are doing. You are putting innocent lives at risk to put a notch in your belt. I hope you have the audacity to knock on some families door and tell them their husband or dad was killed because YOU wanted to be a hero !

    • CCKM

      You are right on all counts. But I once knew a city that superheroes cleaned up swiftly and there was no loss of life on our end, Plenty on their end tho. Pity. It can be done. You have to start from the inside and push them all to the outer limits and corners until they have nothing left and there’s nothing left of them. Incarcerate the key players and violent for a long time, revoke visas, deport illegals, and have effective programs in place to rehab the addicts. If the addicts don’t reform, put them away too. There should be “no little street unit” going to any major city. You need cooperation with units that operate in those cities, and cooperate with those units. They know how it’s done. Unless it’s done already, and I would hope it is, if people move from state to state; do background checks through their drivers licenses. It gets more complex when they have fake ID’s or just “travel” form state to state to do their nasty business. Surveillance is key in these situations and a lot of people are against “invasion of privacy,” but nothing will change otherwise. It’s the only way, smoke ’em out, then choke ’em out.

  • angus

    Great job and wonderful idea! But unfortunately its all for not!! Now they move on to another city and the scum know this, and there will be more than ever. This is the problem when a politician like kane has a say in the operations. did a good job, now lets move on and forget about it..Still gets a feather in her hat.

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