6 Arrested In Hazleton Drug Raids

May 4, 2019

Six people were arrested Thursday for operating a major fentanyl distribution organization in Hazleton, Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced. Agents executed search warrants on three residences in the city Thursday, confiscating 145 bricks of suspected fentanyl. One brick is estimated to contain 50 bags of fentanyl, and the organization sometimes sold bags for as little as 77 cents each, a news release from Shapiro’s office states. The arrests are the result of a wiretap investigation into the organization believed to have operated under the leadership of Joel Tejada Guerra, 28, of Hazleton, since 2016. Guerra used sub-dealers to distribute the fentanyl for which he was taking orders, the release states. Guerra and his organization are estimated to have sold quantities of anywhere between two and 75 bricks of fentanyl at a time. Guerra is estimated to have sold more 2,000 bricks of fentanyl in 2019 alone, having a street value in excess of $1 million in Hazleton. In addition to Guerra, also known as “El Menol,” those arrested Thursday include Manuel Sanchez Medina, 19, Cristian Tejada Guerra, 18, and Richardson Rosario, 20, all of Hazleton; Angel Estrada-Torres, 32, Kingston; and Hassan Harrell, 27, Freeland, court papers said. Joel Tejada Guerra, Cristian Tejada Guerra, Sanchez Medina and Rosario were arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Joseph Zola and held on $250,000 bail. The three defendants are scheduled for a preliminary hearing May 15 at 10:30 a.m. — STAFF REPORT