WILKES-BARRE — One of 17 people charged in Operation Shape Up, which targeted an alleged cocaine and marijuana trafficking ring centered at a city barbershop, was buying real estate with drug proceeds, according to search warrant affidavits.
The state Office of Attorney General filed two search warrants this week for bank records and property sales of Freddy Reyes, 45, of Coplay Place, Mountain Top.
Reyes purchased the Hazle Avenue buildings housing the Master Barbershop and Idley’s Furniture Store, placing the properties in other names, according to the search warrant affidavits. The barbershop and furniture store were searched by drug agents on June 27 and later condemned.
Reyes was in the process of buying a vacant warehouse at Blackman and Arch streets in Wilkes-Barre, where state drug agents allegedly found 40 pounds of marijuana on July 2, the affidavit states.
Agents allege in the affidavit that Reyes was in the process of growing and harvesting his own marijuana plants in the basement and above a garage at his Coplay Place residence, which had a tampered electrical system to steal electricity. Reyes was charged with criminal mischief for the modified electrical meter.
Reyes was among 17 people charged in late June and early July with trafficking at least 20 kilos of cocaine with an estimated street value of $2 million and at least 200 pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value of $600,000, according to the state Attorney General’s Office.
Criminal complaints allege Reyes was a marijuana supplier for Ramon Colon, 26, and his wife, Alexandra Mateo, 21, of Mayflower Crossing, Wilkes-Barre. The investigation began earlier this year, when drug agents focused on cocaine sales of John “Johnny Bambino” Miller, 26, of Downing Street, Plymouth, the complaints state.
Reyes began growing marijuana and had received complaints from customers about it being wet. When the marijuana dried, it weighed less, resulting in less profits, the affidavits state.
Colon and Mateo allegedly paid Reyes $2,000 in counterfeit money for 5 pounds of marijuana. Reyes tried to deposit the cash but was denied when the bank alerted him that the money was counterfeit, according to the affidavits.
The search warrants seek Reyes’ bank records and property acquisitions.