BUTLER TWP. - Township police and members of the Luzerne County Drug Task Force allegedly discovered nearly 150 heroin packets, marijuana and firearms inside a house at 417 S. Hunter Highway on Wednesday.
Dixon Francisco, 31, was arrested after authorities served a search warrant at his house, allegedly finding the drugs, contraband and a sword. A loaded .357-caliber handgun and two rifles were inside the house, township police said.
Police said the investigation of drug trafficking from the house began six months ago.
Francisco had been under surveillance and increased his alleged drug sales in the last two weeks before Hazleton police raided a house on East Diamond Avenue in Hazleton. Police said many drug users who fed their addiction at the East Diamond Avenue house began showing up at Francisco’s residence, including customers buying from Francisco several times a day, police said.
The search of Francisco’s residence resulted in the alleged finding of nearly 150 heroin packets that had a street value of $2,000, packaged syringes, marijuana, $700 cash, 10 cellphones and the three guns, police said.
Police said the heroin was found in a tool box that was detected by a canine from the Luzerne County Sheriff’s Office.
Welfare ACCESS and bank cards were found in the house that did not belong to anyone residing with Francisco, police said.
Police said at least one card was given to Francisco to settle a drug debt.
Francisco was arraigned by District Judge James Dixon in Hazle Township on three counts of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, two counts of criminal use of communication facility and one count of illegal possession of a firearm. He was jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $75,000 bail.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled on June 17 before District Judge Daniel O’Donnell.