One Charged After Raid In Wilkes-Barre
WILKES-BARRE — More than a dozen police officers dressed in tactical gear and armed with assault rifles raided a South Wilkes-Barre apartment building Friday morning and arrested a man wanted on drug-trafficking and firearms charges.
Police said the raid was connected to the spate of recent shootings in the city in recent weeks, but charges were not immediately filed connected to the violence.
Instead, U.S. marshals said they arrested 22-year-old Nigel Velardo of Wilkes-Barre, who was wanted for failing to appear in court last month.
Court records show Velardo is on probation on drug-trafficking and receiving stolen property charges. Kingston police also got a warrant for him Thursday charging him with 24 counts including dealing in the proceeds of illegal activity, conspiracy and theft.
Officers from Wilkes-Barre and Kingston were observed entering the upstairs apartment section of a building at 127 Academy St., at the intersection of Carey Avenue. The building houses a bodega and a barber shop on its ground floor.
Marshals said after realizing police were closing in, Velardo fled the apartment he was in, forced his way into another unit and then tried to escape the building. He was then captured and turned over to city police, marshals said.
In addition to Velardo, a woman whose face and head were covered by a sweatshirt was escorted from the building in handcuffs. Authorities did not release her name.
Velardo’s arrest is the result of “an ongoing drug trafficking and firearms investigation which has led to several shootings between several groups of subjects,” city police said in a press release Friday night.
City police responded to four related shootings between Feb. 16 and Feb. 19 on Bowman, Lockhart, Dana and Dagobert streets.
BOB KALINOWSKI, staff writer, contributed to this report.
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