Drug agents targeted fentanyl suppliers in Tuesday raids

By Ed Lewis [email protected]

			
				                                A Ford F150 pickup truck was seized during a raid Tuesday by the Luzerne County Drug Task Force and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives at YIYO Auto Electric & Repair Inc. on Hazle Street, Wilkes-Barre.
                                 Jerry Lynott | Times Leader

A Ford F150 pickup truck was seized during a raid Tuesday by the Luzerne County Drug Task Force and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives at YIYO Auto Electric & Repair Inc. on Hazle Street, Wilkes-Barre.

Jerry Lynott | Times Leader

WILKES-BARRE — More than $56,000 and at least three vehicles with hidden hydraulic compartments were seized when local and federal drug agents executed search warrants in an undercover investigation of fentanyl trafficking in the Wilkes-Barre area.

At least four people were arrested including two men authorities believe were the suppliers of fentanyl.

Kingston Police Chief Richard Kotchik said four locations were searched Tuesday, three in Wilkes-Barre and a residence in Edwardsville.

Agents suspect Jose Raymer Tejeda, 35, also known as “Dude,” and his brother, Jose Rojas Tejeda, 37, also known as “Satchel,” brought in large amounts of fentanyl to their service garage, YIYO Auto Electric & Repair, at 513 Hazle St., Wilkes-Barre.

The two brothers would then deliver the fentanyl around the corner at 397 Blackman St., where James Robert Garris, 50, sold it to customers, according to court records.

Agents initiated the investigation in October resulting in search warrants being executed at the auto electric repair garage and Garris’ residence on Tuesday.

A residence at 366 Blackman St., where Jose Rojas Tejeda lived, and 9 Beech St., Edwardsville, where Jose Raymer Tejeda lived, were also searched.

Court records say the two brothers instructed customers to give them a day’s notice when they wanted to buy fentanyl.

During many of the controlled drug buys that were monitored by agents, the two brothers were seen entering Garris’ residence and immediately leave. Seconds after they left Garris’ residence, Garris would call customers to alert them fentanyl was available for sale, court records say.

Three vehicles, a Mercedes, a Ford Fusion and a Ford F150 truck, were found to have “traps,” hidden compartments operated by hydraulics.

During the searches, agents allege they found two handguns, ammunition, large amounts of packaging materials, rubber bands, drug owe sheets, documents, a garbage bag filled with marijuana, 100 fentanyl packets, two surveillance systems, passports, digital scales, and $56,667 cash.

Jose Raymer Tejeda, Jose Rojas Tejeda and Garris each was charged with 77 felony counts of drug trafficking offenses.

Emilio Tejeda-Arias, 32, of 366 Blackman St., Wilkes-Barre, was hit with a felony drug trafficking offense and a misdemeanor drug possession charge.

Kotchik said the investigation is continuing.