KINGSTON — Police from several municipalities saturated a residential neighborhood Wednesday night searching for a Hazleton man who fled after allegedly selling 600 heroin packets.
The drama began when police said Ariel Alvarez, 28, of South Poplar Street, and formerly of Patterson, N.J., sold 12 bricks of heroin for $1,000 in the area of Third Avenue and East Hoyt Street just after 8 p.m. Each brick holds 50 heroin packets.
Alvarez sped away in a Ford Explorer driving through a parking lot to avoid capture when drug agents moved in to arrest him. Alvarez abandoned the Ford and ran on foot, finding an unlocked rear door of a house on Second Avenue, police said.
Police believe Alvarez hid in the basement until the homeowner arrived home finding an intruder in his house. Alvarez fled the residence and was captured when he was spotted walking in the area of Pierce Street and Warren Avenue, police said.
Alvarez discarded the cash while he was running. Police returned to the area Thursday morning in an attempt to find the money used to buy the heroin.
During the search Wednesday night, fire apparatus vehicles from the Kingston Fire Department were used for lighting.
After his capture, Alvarez allegedly told authorities he ran from police and found an unlocked door to a house hiding in the basement until he was discovered by the homeowner.
Police said the street value of the 600 heroin packets is about $12,000.
Alvarez was arraigned by District Judge Joseph Carmody in West Pittston on two counts of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, and one count each of possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, fleeing or attempting to elude police, flight to avoid apprehension, criminal use of communication facility, resisting arrest, burglary and criminal trespass. He was jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $250,000 bail.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled on Nov. 27 before District Judge Paul Roberts in Kingston.
Police said Alvarez was wanted on a probation violation in New Jersey.
New Jersey court records say Alvarez was sentenced in Passaic County Court in July 2012 to two years probation on cocaine trafficking offenses and gambling.