In early March, police arrested three people for narcotic violations and took them into custody. During the Wilkes-Barre drug bust, police seized several different drugs including methamphetamine, crack cocaine, fentanyl, heroin, MDMA, and marijuana. Along with the assortment of illicit drugs, police also confiscated a stolen firearm. Jacquelynn Bezak, Ivan Torres-Pantojas, and Allen Brady were taken into custody on drug charges. Bezak already had an outstanding warrant and also faces charges for firearm violations.
A History of Drug Busts in Wilkes-Barre
This is not the first drug bust in Wilkes-Barre either. The city of Wilkes-Barre has a crime index that is higher than the national average, even though it has been decreasing in more recent years.1 Wilkes-Barre also has a history of drug abuse. Luzerne County had the 5th highest average rate of drug overdose deaths per 100,000 people by county in Pennsylvania,2 and the city of Wilkes-Barre is a big piece of this pie.
In early February of this year, a drug raid in Wilkes-Barre of an auto body shop resulted in the arrest of four people after months of investigation and surveillance of the shop. Police confiscated bricks of fentanyl, guns, and more than $56,000 in cash.3 Police believe that these people are connected to a bigger fentanyl drug ring. Other news headlines talk about the incidence of drug violence in the county and undercover drug busts in Wilkes-Barre.
These are just some examples of the drug busts in Wilkes-Barre and the drug crime in Luzerne County. While police are doing their best to mitigate these problems, the opioid epidemic isn’t helping. Luzerne County experienced 139 fatal drug overdoses in 2016, with over half resulting from heroin laced with fentanyl. In a county that is only home to 318,000 people, these numbers are alarming.4
As an opiate addiction treatment center in Luzerne County, we have seen the effects of the numbers firsthand. These drugs busts are happening in our own backyard and show no evidence of stopping any time soon. Part of the problem for this drug crime is that people are becoming addicted to these drugs and not getting help. When these people who are addicted struggle to get their fix or start looking for illegal ways of getting these drugs, crime and violence is often the result. An inpatient center could help these people stop their addiction and lower the incidence of drug-related crime.
If you or someone you care about is abusing drugs or alcohol, it is important to get help. You may think that you could never get mixed up with these issues, but addiction can lead people to act irrationally.
To get more details about Clearbrook or to begin the recovery process, call us today at 570-536-9621.
- City-Data.com – Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
- University of Pittsburgh – OverdoseFreePA – Death Data Overview
- Citizens Voice – Drug raid broke up major fentanyl ring
- Times Leader – NBC News report looks at ‘deadly math’ of opioid crisis in Luzerne County