NATURE OF INCIDENT: Drug Investigation – Trafficking Marijuana
Elias Rodriguez (28 years of age)
518 Schuylkill Ave
Reading, PA 19601
- Possession with Intent to Deliver – Marijuana
- Delivery - Marijuana
- Possession – Marijuana
- Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
- Person Not to Possess, Use, Manufacture, Control, Sell or Transfer Firearms
- Receiving Stolen Property
- Driving While Operating is Suspended or Revoked
DETAILS OF INCIDENT:
In June of 2021, the Central Berks Regional Police Department initiated a drug trafficking investigation into suspicious parcels being delivered to a home in the borough of Mount Penn via the United Parcel Service (UPS). The parcels were being shipped from Los Angeles, California, to an undisclosed address in Mount Penn, Pennsylvania.
On Friday, June 25, 2021, one of the parcel packages was recovered. The parcel contained nineteen plastic bags of suspected marijuana, each bag weighing approximately one pound.
On Wednesday, June 30, 2021, the suspect, Elias Rodriguez was observed at the same undisclosed location removing a second parcel from the front of that address. Rodriguez placed the parcel into the back seat of a black Mazda MZ6 and drove away.
Subsequently, the Berks County District Attorney Drug Task Force joined Central Berks Regional Police Department in the investigation.
On Thursday, July 1, 2021, at approximately 9:49 a.m., detectives observed the unoccupied Mazda MZ6 parked in the 1500 block of Perkiomen Avenue, Reading, Pennsylvania. The detectives maintained surveillance of the vehicle, a short time later, the suspect Elias Rodriguez exited a residence in the 1500 block of Perkiomen Avenue and placed a large bag in the trunk of the black Mazda. Rodriguez drove to the 500 block of Schuylkill Avenue and parked the vehicle. Rodriguez exited the vehicle and removed a bag from the trunk. A short time later, a second Mazda vehicle with a male driver arrived and parked. The male and Rodriguez were observed engaging in a suspected drug transaction. Both males were stopped and detained.
On Thursday, July 1, 2021, detectives obtained a search warrant for a black Mazda MZ6. The search warrant was issued by District Judge Steven Chieffo.
The following items were seized from the Mazda MZ6:
1. Numerous packages of Marijuana
2. Two working cellular telephones
3. Miscellaneous packaging material, cutting agents, digital scale, and related drug paraphernalia
4. $3,490.00 in U.S. Currency believed to be proceeds from sales of controlled substances
5. A loaded Glock, model 17, 9mm semi-auto handgun w/ extended magazine holding (22) 9mm rounds (this firearm was previously reported stolen)
Subsequently, Elias Rodriguez was placed under arrest and transported to the Berks County Sheriff’s Department Central Processing Center for processing and preliminary arraignment. He was arraigned and bail was set at $150,0000 by Magisterial District Judge Carissa Johnson. Rodriguez was transported to Berks County Jail in lieu of bail.
On Friday, July 1, 2021, detectives obtained a second search warrant for a Storage Locker located in Shillington, PA. The search warrant was issued by District Judge Steward Kennedy.
The following items were seized from the storage unit:
1. Fifteen large packages of Marijuana
This investigation is ongoing. The total street value of all marijuana seized in the investigation is $190,000.00.
This investigation is a joint investigation between the Central Berks Regional Police Department, the Berks County District Attorney’s Drug Task Force, and the Berks County Sheriff’s Department’s K-9 Unit.
As in every criminal case, the fact that an arrest occurred, or a complaint has been filed is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.