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Operation K'O"D

Drug Trafficking Organization Dismantled

"Operation K-O-D"

     In May of 2018, Criminal Investigators from the City of Reading Police Department received information from concerned citizens about suspected illegal drug dealing occurring in the 500 block of Gordon Street and a garage on the 500 block of Miltimore Street Reading, PA. Subsequently, investigators initiated an investigation and identified 541 Gordon Street as the principal location responsible for the distribution of cocaine, “K-2” (synthetic cannabinoid) and prescription opioid pills. During the investigation, Criminal Investigators learned that the scope of the distribution network spanned to other areas, besides the City of Reading; including Exeter, Muhlenberg, Alsace Township, St. Lawrence Borough, West Reading and other townships throughout Berks County and beyond. 
 
     Criminal Investigators from the City of Reading Police Department teamed up with Berks  County District Attorney’s Office Task Force Detectives and Troopers from the Pennsylvania State Police (Troop L) in an effort to dismantle the organization.
 
     During the investigation, Officers utilized electronic and physical surveillance to identify participants and locations.  Officers discovered a vast network distributing “K-2”, both in bulk and street level, and the diversion and sale of prescription opioid pills. The prescription opioids were being diverted to several members of the organization. Officers learned that the organization obtained opioids and counterfeit opioids smuggled from Columbia and Puerto Rico which were then sold from 541 Gordon Street Reading, PA, 210 N. 9th Street Reading, PA and other locations within Berks County.  The investigation also revealed location(s) within Berks County where bulk “K-2”
was being manufactured and processed, sometimes as much as fifty (50) pounds at a time, to be distributed on the streets of Berks County.
 
     In the early morning hours of December 13, 2018, search warrants were served at the following locations:
 
1.      210 North 9th Street, Reading, PA
2.      541 Gordon Street, Reading, PA
3.      343 Hollenbach Street, Reading, PA
4.      211 West Douglass Street, Reading, PA
5.      372 Rugby Road, Exeter, PA
6.      2321 Alsace Road, Alsace Township, PA
7.      3323 Gray Street, Muhlenberg, PA
 
     The following items were seized from the aforementioned locations:
 
  • Over 200 pounds of synthetic cannabinoid in various stages of the manufacturing process, including Damiana leaf and FUB-AMB, which is the Schedule I chemical compound used in the production.
  • Paraphernalia involved in the manufacture of synthetic cannabinoid including sprayers, mixing containers, acetone, masks and packaging materials
  • Approximately $180,000 in U.S. Currency
  • Several hundred opioid-based controlled substance pills.
  • One semi-automatic pistol and One AR assault rifle
  • Approximately twenty workable cellular telephones
     As a result of the aforementioned investigation, the individuals listed below in red were arrested and taken in custody.  The individuals below listed in black remain at large.
 
DEALERS
  1. Jose Vega-Acevedo (age 33)
221 W. Douglass Street, Apt 1-N, Reading, PA
Corrupt Organization, Dealing in Proceeds of Unlawful Activities, Criminal Use of a Communication Facility, Delivery of a Controlled Substance, PWI of a Controlled Substance, Criminal Conspiracy to Delivery and PWI, Person Not to Possess a Firearm and Possession of a Controlled Substance

2. Jose Vega-Cartagena (age 52)

541 Gordon Street, Reading, PA
Corrupt Organization, Dealing in Proceeds of Unlawful Activities, Criminal Use of a Communication Facility, Delivery of a Controlled Substance, PWI of a Controlled Substance, Criminal Conspiracy to Delivery and PWI and Possession of a Controlled Substance
 
 3. Alberto Medina-Roman (age 39)
3332 Gray Street, Muhlenberg, PA
Corrupt Organization, Dealing in Proceeds of Unlawful Activities, Criminal Use of a Communication Facility, Delivery of a Controlled Substance, PWI of a Controlled Substance, Criminal Conspiracy to Delivery and PWI and Possession of a Controlled Substance

4. Keysel Hernandez-Medina (age 28)

372 Rugby Road, Birdsboro, PA
Corrupt Organization, Dealing in Proceeds of Unlawful Activities, Criminal Use of a Communication Facility, Delivery of a Controlled Substance, PWI of a Controlled Substance, Criminal Conspiracy to Delivery and PWI and Possession of a Controlled Substance

5. Pablo Rodriguez (age 42)

343 Hollenbach Street, Reading, PA
Corrupt Organization, Dealing in Proceeds of Unlawful Activities, Criminal Use of a Communication Facility, Delivery of a Controlled Substance, PWI of a Controlled Substance, Criminal Conspiracy to Delivery and PWI and Possession of a Controlled Substance

6. Christopher Martir (age 46) - surrendered on December 17, 2018

509 Hain Avenue, Muhlenberg, PA
Criminal Use of a Communication Facility, Delivery of a Controlled Substance, PWI of a Controlled Substance and Possession of a Controlled Substance

7. Diosvell Alvarez-Nieves (age 31)

605 N. 5th Street, Reading, PA
Criminal Use of a Communication Facility, Delivery of a Controlled Substance, PWI of a Controlled Substance and Possession of a Controlled Substance

8. Edwin Colon (age 19)

531 Tulpehocken Street, Reading, PA
Criminal Use of a Communication Facility, Delivery of a Controlled Substance, PWI of a Controlled Substance and Possession of a Controlled Substance

9. Antonio Alvarez (age 64)

210 N. 9th Street, Reading, PA
Criminal Use of a Communication Facility, Delivery of a Controlled Substance, PWI of a Controlled Substance and Possession of a Controlled Substance 

10. Hassan Bennett (age 36)

2145 A Elder Street, Reading, PA
Criminal Use of a Communication Facility, Delivery of a Controlled Substance, PWI of a Controlled Substance and Possession of a Controlled Substance 

11. Lester Ozuna-Gonzalez (age 39)

230 Pear Street, Reading, PA
Criminal Use of a Communication Facility, Delivery of a Controlled Substance, PWI of a Controlled Substance, Possession of a Controlled Substance and Dealing in Proceeds of Unlawful Activity
 

12. Marco Ocasio (age 48)

267 Linden Street, Reading, PA
Criminal Use of a Communication Facility, Delivery of a Controlled Substance, PWI of a Controlled Substance and Possession of a Controlled Substance

13. Aaron Copeland (age 30)

537 Gordon Street, Reading, PA
Criminal Use of a Communication Facility, Delivery of a Controlled Substance, PWI of a Controlled Substance and Possession of a Controlled Substance

14. Miriam Cosme (age 23)

221 W. Douglass Street, Apt 1-N, Reading, PA
Corrupt Organization, Dealing in Proceeds of Unlawful Activities, Criminal Use of a Communication Facility, Delivery of a Controlled Substance, PWI of a Controlled Substance, Criminal Conspiracy to Delivery and PWI and Possession of a Controlled Substance

15. Julio Lopez (age 52)

645 N. 6th Street, Reading, PA
Corrupt Organization, Dealing in Proceeds of Unlawful Activities, Criminal Use of a Communication Facility, Delivery of a Controlled Substance, PWI of a Controlled Substance, Criminal Conspiracy to Delivery and PWI and Possession of a Controlled Substance

16. Josean Maldonado (age 39)

2321 Alsace Road, Alsace Township, PA
Corrupt Organization, Dealing in Proceeds of Unlawful Activities, Criminal Use of a Communication Facility, Delivery of a Controlled Substance, PWI of a Controlled Substance, Criminal Conspiracy to Delivery and PWI and Possession of a Controlled Substance
CUSTOMERS:

17. Raul Lopez (age 27)

303 A McKnight Street, Reading, PA
Criminal Use of a Communication Facility and Possession of a Controlled Substance
 

18. Eddie Wright (age 64)

433 S. 11th Street, Reading, PA
Criminal Use of a Communication Facility and Possession of a Controlled Substance 
 

19. Yesenia Carrasquillo (age 28)

343 N. 8th Street, 3rd floor, Reading, PA
Criminal Use of a Communication Facility and Possession of a Controlled Substance
 

20. Todd Saylor (age 36) - surrendered on December 18, 2018

416 Fairview Street, Reading, PA
Criminal Use of a Communication Facility and Possession of a Controlled Substance
 

21. Lesley Kagels (age 31)

1514 Friendensburg Road, Reading, PA
Criminal Use of a Communication Facility and Possession of a Controlled Substance
 

22. Jason Butt (age 39)

849 Schuylkill Avenue, Reading, PA
Criminal Use of a Communication Facility and Possession of a Controlled Substance
 

23. James Downey (age 54)

264 Bartlett Street, Reading, PA
Criminal Use of a Communication Facility and Possession of a Controlled Substance
 

24. Shelia Echevaria-Castro (age 45) - surrendered December 17, 2018

226 W. Douglass Street, Apt #1, Reading, PA
Criminal Use of a Communication Facility and Possession of a Controlled Substance
 

25. Justin Gonzalez (age 44)

110 S. 6th Avenue, West Reading, PA
Criminal Use of a Communication Facility and Possession of a Controlled Substance
 

26. Ashley Figueroa (age 27)

926 Mulberry Street, Reading, PA
Criminal Use of a Communication Facility and Possession of a Controlled Substance
 

27. William Camacho (age 32)

300 Lackawanna Street, Apt. 9K, Reading, PA
Criminal Use of a Communication Facility and Possession of a Controlled Substance
 

28. Nehemiah Davis (age 26) - surrendered December 18, 2018

757 Mt. Laurel Road, Muhlenberg, PA
Criminal Use of a Communication Facility and Possession of a Controlled Substance
 
The arrested individuals were transported to the Sheriff’s central processing Unit and arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Alvin Robinson.  Bail ranged from $5,000 to $1 million. 
 
If you have any information regarding any of the individuals who remain at large, please contact Crime Alert Berks County at 1-877-373-9913 or Berks County District Attorney’s at 610-478-7171.