On May 16, 2013, detectives from the District Attorney's Drug Task Force dismantled a major drug operation in Berks County. Warrants were served on twenty-five (25) mid to high-level drug traffickers. The individuals were charged with committing offenses involving violations of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code, specifically:
- Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances (cocaine, marijuana, and heroin)
- Dealing in Proceeds of Unlawful Activity
- Corrupt Organizations
- Criminal Use of Communication Facility
In July 2012, District Attorney John T. Adam's Drug Task Force Detectives began an investigation into a major drug operation in Berks County. Information revealed the individuals were distributing Cocaine, Heroin, and Marijuana throughout Berks County. As a result, the Berks County Drug Task Force joined forces with the FBI, the Pennsylvania State Police, and Drug Task Force members from Reading, Exeter Township, and Spring Township Police Departments.
The investigation centered around Robert Sanfiel, but as the investigation progressed other suspects were developed. After detectives discovered probable cause, District Attorney Adams made application to the Pennsylvania Superior Court for the non-consensual wire and electronic interception of the Sanfiel Drug Trafficking Organization's cellular telephones. Detectives utilized the court authorized wire taps as the primary tool in the investigation. The wire tap began in February 2013 and detectives listened to the criminal activity being conducted for approximately a four-month period.
During the investigation, undercover purchases were made and 8 search warrants were served at the following locations:
- 904 Byram Street, Lower Alsace
- 304 North 5th Street, Reading
- 306 North 5th Street, Reading
- 310 North 5th Street, Reading
- 243 Reed Street, Reading
- 39 North Calais Drive, Ontelaunee Township
- 315 North 3rd Street (garage), Reading
- one vehicle operated by Arvell Bullock, Reading
As a result of the search warrants, the following items were seized:
- 3 kilograms of Cocaine with a street value of $300,000 (based on $100 per/gram)
- 250 grams of Heroin with a street value of $75,000 (based on $300 per/gram)
- cutting agents
- drug-related paraphernalia associated with the distribution of controlled substances
- over $50,000 in cash
- 3 hand-guns and sawed-off shotgun
- various electronic equipment
- 1 vehicle with a hidden trap to conceal contraband
The investigation continued and detectives developed additional information and physical evidence implicating Nicholas Heiner age 39,as a participant in the Drug Trafficking Organization. As a result of numerous items seized from the search warrants, detectives performed forensic analysis. That evidence included a bulk quantity of marijuana and cocaine from inside 310 North 5th Street, 2nd floor apartment, Reading, Pennsylvania. An examination of latent fingerprints lifted from the bags containing the marijuana was identified as belonging to Nicholas Heiner.
On February 23, 2014, detectives obtained a search warrant of arrest for Nicholas Heiner on the afore-mentioned charges. The warrant was issued by Magisterial District Judge Bagenstose.
On February 24, 2014, at 9:30 a.m., Nicholas Heiner surrendered to Berks County Narcotics Detectives. He was taken to the Berks County Sheriff's Department Central Processing Unit for processing and arraignment.
Bail was set at $200,000. Heiner was released on bail.