HARRISBURG — A Luzerne County man was charged Thursday in connection with a drug trafficking ring being prosecuted by state Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s office.
A grand jury determined evidence is sufficient to charge Darryl Elliot, 27, of South Grant Street, Wilkes-Barre, and 15 others with drug trafficking and conspiracy.
Of those charged, Juan Carlos Alvarez, was already serving time in Lackawanna County Correctional Facility. The grand jury found Alvarez supplied other suspects with drugs from the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico to be distributed in New York City and Pennsylvania. Thirteen suspects are from Northumberland County.
Prosecutors do not know where one suspect, Joseph Galgocy, is from, according to a press release from the Attorney General’s Office.
After a year-long investigation, prosecutors allege the suspects acted as drug mules. They swallowed large balloons full of heroin and cocaine to get the contraband across the border to New York City and then into Pennsylvania. Suspects were paid as much as $10,000-per trip to move drugs in bulk across borders, the release said.
The grand jury identified one of Alvarez’s main Pennsylvania contacts as Jarred Derck of Shamokin. Derck is awaiting trial on drug trafficking and possession charges filed in 2012. The other associates allegedly flew to the Dominican Republic to meet with cocaine and heroin suppliers, the release said.
The carriers made stops in New York City on their way to Pennsylvania where drugs were sold out of an Elysburg pizza shop, a Shamokin garage and a home in Mount Carmel, the grand jury found.
Undercover agents and local police identified multiple players in the ring by purchasing hundreds of bags of heroin and ounces of cocaine from the dealers. Agents estimate the group moved over $2 million worth of drugs during the investigation.
Attorney General Kathleen Kane said in a press release she anticipates more arrests.