$8M to $10M in drugs taken off the streets following Luzerne County bust

Pictured are the drugs that were recently seized in Luzerne County.

The Drug Enforcement Agency’s Philadelphia Divison achieved its largest drug bust to date with the recent arrest and indictment of three men.

David Jusino Ramirez, 64, and Julio Romero-Mancebo, 28, both of New Jersey, and Emmanuel Roman-Figueroa, 38, of Hazelton, were indicted Wednesday for drug trafficking following their Oct. 8 arrest during a Luzerne County drug transaction that included the seizure of 130 kilograms of methamphetamine, 3 kilograms of fentanyl, and $28,000 in cash, according to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. The drugs seized carried a wholesale value of around $2.5 million and an estimated street value between $8 million and $10 million.

Investigators previously seized $371,000 as part of the investigation.

“There can be no more clear evidence of the efforts of transnational drug trafficking organizations to establish a market for methamphetamine in the Middle District of Pennsylvania and elsewhere in the United States than the seizure of this massive amount of drugs,” said U.S. Attorney David Freed. “Of course, the related seizure of a substantial amount of fentanyl is just as clear a reminder that we cannot let down our guard in the battle against opioids. Time and time again, we have noted that the transportation networks that make the Keystone state a national leader in the logistics industry lend themselves also to the movement of massive amounts of contraband through our Commonwealth. Thankfully our partners at the Pennsylvania State Police and the DEA clearly understand this dynamic and are on the job. It is impossible to calculate the number of lives saved by this outstanding investigation.”

Jonathan Wilson, the DEA special agent in charge, said the seizure was the DEA Philadelphia Division’s largest methamphetamine seizure on record.

“This seizure of 300 pounds of methamphetamine clearly shows the prevalence of this highly addictive and extremely dangerous drug in the region,” he said.

The Pennsylvania State Police and Hazelton Police Department assisted with the investigation, which was part of Project Safe Neighborhoods and a district-wide initiative to combat heroin.

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