Man Charged After Police Search Two Homes in Luzerne County

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HAZLETON -- It was a long day of police activity in two different places in Luzerne County that ended with a man locked up in the Luzerne County prison.

Police arrested and charged a man from Hazleton  just after 9 p.m. Thursday.

This comes after police searched two homes just six miles apart and it all centers around a missing person investigation.

Police from three agencies swarmed a house on West 10th Street in Hazleton for most of the day; neighbors say they had been there since the night before. After executing a search warrant, state police took the man who lives here, Eleazar Yisrael, into custody. He has now been charged with possession of a controlled substance for having marijuana and possession of a weapon for having a large knife with a metal knuckles handle, according to charging documents.

Hazleton police and state police came to Yisrael's house after Butler Township police discovered a car belonging to a missing man in Hazleton on Tuesday. That man, Samuel Vacante, 52, was last seen Monday night and Butler Township police believe he is in danger.

While state police were searching Yisrael's Hazleton home, other troopers were at Vacante's home in Drums, doing the same thing.

While Yisrael is facing only misdemeanor charges, the judge ordered him to be held in prison on $100,000 straight bail, due to his lack of cooperation during his arraignment and due to his list of prior violent offenses.

As for the missing person investigation, Butler Township police ask if anyone knows where Vacante may be to contact them.

Yisrael is scheduled to have a preliminary arraignment on those charges on September 16.

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