Welcome to the County of Berks
Operation Saving Lives
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     On Thursday, September 28, 2017, detectives from the Berks County District Attorney’s Drug Task Force, the Reading Police Department and the Pennsylvania State Police served an early morning search warrant and conducted a reverse undercover operation at 533 Buttonwood Street, 1st floor apartment, Reading, Berks Co., Pa.  The search warrant was issued by Magisterial District Judge Stuart D. Kennedy.
 
     During the month of August 2017, detectives learned that several drug dealers were distributing cocaine, heroin and fentanyl to suspected users from the aforementioned location.  As a result, detectives made numerous undercover drug purchases from the dealers associated with the operation at 533 Buttonwood Street.  The undercover drug purchases were for heroin, fentanyl and cocaine. 
 
     As a result of the search warrant, detectives arrested two of the dealers that were inside the first floor apartment.  They were identified as:
 
      1.      Janeira Guzman (37 years of age)
533 Buttonwood Street, Apt. 1
Reading, PA
Possession with Intent to Deliver a Controlled Substance – fentanyl and cocaine
$150,000 secured bail – currently in BCP
 
2.      Erick M. Alvarado-Rivera (19 years of age)
533 Buttonwood Street, Apt. 1
Reading, PA
Delivery of a Controlled Substance – fentanyl and cocaine
$150,000 secured bail – currently in BCP
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     Seized from inside the apartment were the following items: 
 
  • 151 packets of suspected heroin/fentanyl,
  • 77 packets of suspected cocaine,
  • assorted packaging material and paraphernalia associated with the distribution of controlled substances and
  • $560.00 in U.S. Currency that is believed to be proceeds from the sales of controlled substances.
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           At approximately 9:00 AM, after the search warrant was served, undercover detectives conducted a reverse operation, posing as drug dealers and selling purported packets of heroin/fentanyl and cocaine to customers/users. This reverse undercover operation was conducted for approximately four and a half hours.  During that time, undercover detectives arrested 19 individuals for Criminal Attempt to Possess a Controlled Substance. Their bails range from unsecured bail $5,000 to $45,000 secured bail.
 
The following users were arrested:
 

Brad Clemens (34 years of age)

3367 Plow Road, Mohnton, PA
Criminal Attempt to Possess Heroin
 

Perry Ortega (31 years of age)

320 Clifton Avenue, West Reading, PA
Criminal Attempt to Possess Heroin
 

Jessica Kawski (28 years of age)

Homeless
Criminal Attempt to Possess Heroin
 

Joshua Hodges (26 years of age)

Homeless
Criminal Attempt to Possess Heroin
 

Juan Rodriguez-Torres (52 years of age)

431 Walnut Street, Apt. #2, Reading, PA
Criminal Attempt to Possess Heroin
 

Maritza Castro (43 years of age)

500 Spring Street, Reading, PA
Criminal Attempt to Possess Heroin and Cocaine
 

Fernando Rodriguez (49 years of age)

735 North 8th Street, Reading, PA
Criminal Attempt to Possess Heroin
 

Eleanor Tompkins (49 years of age)

417 Walnut Street, Apt# 2, Reading, PA
Criminal Attempt to Possess Heroin
 
 Robert Medina (30 years of age)
531 Franklin Street, 1st Floor Rear, Reading, PA
Criminal Attempt to Possess Heroin
 

Jason Myers (40 years of age)

101 North Church Street, Robesonia, PA
Criminal Attempt to Possess Heroin
 

Mark Grim (49 years of age)

741 North 8th Street, Reading, PA
Criminal Attempt to Possess Heroin
 

Gregorix Abad-Rosado (24 years of age)

352 Pearl Street, Reading, PA
Criminal Attempt to Possess Cocaine
 

Jose Rodriguez-Reyes (36 years of age)

407 Rosenthal Street, Reading, PA
Criminal Attempt to Possess Heroin
 

Jesse Cope (44 years of age)

228 North 6th Street, Apt#5, Reading, PA
Criminal Attempt to Possess Cocaine
 

Felipe Hernandez (37 years of age)

925 Moss Street, Reading, PA
Criminal Attempt to Possess Heroin and Cocaine
 

Jesus Rivera-Nieves (35 years of age)

938 Franklin Street, Apt.#2, Reading, PA
Criminal Attempt to Possess Cocaine
 

Elijah Behm (41 years of age)

West Virginia
Criminal Attempt to Possess Heroin
 

Michael Medina (52 years of age)

430 Walnut Street, 4th Floor, Reading, PA
Criminal Attempt to Possess Heroin
 

Alain Vazquez (30 years of age)

Florida

           Criminal Attempt to Possess Heroin

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 On September 29, 2017 at approximately 9:00 AM, the following individual was apprehended:

 
1.      Jose Aponte Rentas (25 years of age)
612 N. 9th Street
Reading, PA
Delivery of a Controlled Substance – fentanyl
 
     At the time of this press release, detectives continue the search for three other dealers associated with this organization.
 
     “Operation Saving Lives” sole purpose is to help stop the distribution of the dangerous controlled substances that have been causing a rash of overdose deaths in Berks County and to encourage the user to seek treatment for their addiction. 
 
     Fact:  Fentanyl is a much stronger controlled substance than heroin and is often sought by a user to intensify the desired effect.  Some fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more potent than heroin.