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Cops Seize 4K Bags Of Heroin, 5 Guns In Shooting Investigation

March 13, 2019
Cops Seize 4K Bags Of Heroin, 5 Guns In Shooting Investigation

WILKES-BARRE — City police investigating the recent rash of shootings raided a Heights section home on Monday, seizing thousands of bags of heroin and fentanyl along with five handguns.

Police raided the home at 390 Grant St. as part of their investigation into four related shootings that took place between Feb. 16 and Feb. 19 on Bowman, Lockhart, Dana and Dagobert streets. Police say they connected the property to 22-year-old Nigel Velardo, who was arrested Friday.

The raid turned up 81 bricks of heroin and fentanyl, which equates to 4,000 individual bags, half a kilogram of high-grade marijuana and another 70 grams of uncut heroin and fentanyl, according to police.

Police also seized drug paraphernalia, drug packaging materials, several hundred rounds of ammunition and five handguns investigators say were tied to the drug trafficking operation.

Police said the guns are suspected to have been involved in at least two of the recent shootings, and that they were being sent for ballistic testing.

Velardo, who was initially wanted for failing to appear in court, was charged last week in two cases on counts including drug trafficking, receiving stolen property, possessing guns as a felon, dealing in the proceeds of illegal activity, conspiracy and theft.

Velardo was captured during a raid Friday in an apartment at 127 Academy St., at the intersection of Carey Avenue. He is being held without bail at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility after Magisterial District Judge Thomas F. Malloy Sr. found him to be a danger to the community, according to court records.

Investigators are also seeking five other individuals in connection with the series of shootings.

On Friday, police announced they were looking for Elijah Jones, 21, Colin King, 20, and Genrie Smith, 19, all of whom reportedly last lived at 390 Grant St., and Tareem McDonald, 21, of New York City.

Investigators previously announced they were seeking Onje Crowder, 19, last known address of 37 McCarragher St. Crowder remains wanted on aggravated assault charges.

In late February, police arrested Jyzah Michael Morgan, 21, on charges alleging he drove Crowder to the scene of one of the shootings.

The case is being investigated by Wilkes-Barre and Kingston police, state troopers, the Luzerne County Drug Task Force, the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service.

Contact the writer:

jhalpin@citizensvoice.com

570-821-2058