WILKES-BARRE — At least 22 people were taken into custody on Friday and Saturday during a joint task force sweep targeting suspected drug traffickers, city police said.
A couple wanted on charges they eluded authorities and skipping court hearings were the last to be arrested in “Triggerlock Operation,” which was a collaboration between Wilkes-Barre police, state police, Luzerne County Sheriff’s Department, U.S. Marshals and the state offices of Attorney General and Fish and Boat Commission.
Randall Paul Austin, 41, of Susquehanna, and his girlfriend, Erin Marie Stanley, 37, of Friendsville, were arrested when a search warrant was served at their motel room at the Host Inn on Kidder Street early Saturday morning when a large amount of methamphetamine, paraphernalia and cash were discovered, court records say.
Court records say Austin is wanted in Susquehanna and Wyoming counties, and Stanley is wanted in Broome County, N.Y.
Austin and Stanley were arraigned by District Judge Joseph Spagnuolo Jr. in Plains Township on various drug trafficking related charges and both were jailed at the county correctional facility without bail.
Authorities fanned out armed with 21 search warrants of locations identified by authorities of suspected drug sales and criminal activity.
As a result of the operation, eight people were charged with drunken driving, 43 traffic citations were issued, a firearm was seized and one vehicle reported stolen was recovered, according to city police and state police.
Among others arrested in the drug sweep were:
• Ebbin Tramane Devose, 37, also known as “Tee,” of Dana Street, Wilkes-Barre, was arrested when he allegedly sold heroin and fentanyl in the area of Park Avenue and Metcalf Street, Wilkes-Barre. Jailed for lack of $150,000 bail by District Judge Joseph Halesey in Hanover Township.
• Levi Green, 35, of Philadelphia, was arrested after he allegedly sold heroin and fentanyl on Kidder Street. Jailed for lack of $150,000 bail by Halesey.
• Richard Shoffner, 42, of Carey Avenue, Wilkes-Barre, arrested after he allegedly sold illegal narcotics in the 200 block of Carey Avenue. Jailed for lack of $50,000 by Halesey.
• Reginald Anderson Simms, 48,also known as “Light,” of East Market Street, Wilkes-Barre, arrested after he allegedly sold heroin in the area of East Northampton Street and South Pennsylvania Boulevard, Wilkes-Barre. Jailed for lack of $150,000 by Halesey.
• Colin Daniel Fogarty, 60, also known as “Col,” of East Shawnee Avenue, Plymouth, arrested after he allegedly sold methamphetamine on East Shawnee Avenue. Jailed for lack of $150,000 bail by Halesey.
• Tahji D. Swinney, 40, also known as “Fat Boy,” and Michel A. McKenith, 35, were arrested after they allegedly sold cocaine near their residences on Hanover Street, Wilkes-Barre. Swinney and McKenith were jailed for lack of $300,000 and $50,000 bail, respectively, by Halesey.
• Jamal Hossan Gregory, 27, of North Main Street, Wilkes-Barre, and Vance Dawson, 44, of Hazleton, were arrested after they allegedly sold heroin inside a business on North Main Street. Gregory and Dawson were jailed for lack of $150,000 bail each by Halesey.
• Tonzel Alonzo Marsalis, 24, of South Hancock Street, Wilkes-Barre, arrested after allegedly selling crack cocaine on North Sherman Street, Wilkes-Barre. Jailed for lack of $150,000 bail by Halesey.
• Justin J. Soboski, 32, arrested after allegedly selling heroin from his second floor apartment at 114 North Empire St., Wilkes-Barre. Jailed for lack of $125,000 bail by Halesey.
• Anthony C. Washington, 30, of Lawrence Street, Wilkes-Barre, arrested after allegedly selling cocaine from a Carey Avenue parking lot. Jailed for lack of $150,000 bail by Halesey.