Raid leads to major drug bust in Reading, two arrested

Reading Police Chief Richard Tornielli announced the results of a recent drug and firearms bust in Reading during a Thursday morning news conference at City Hall.

The investigation was part of the department’s Operation Cease Fire initiative, which is designed to reduce violence through the use of targeted enforcement details. It is also part of a larger initiative by the Moran administration to ensure the community has safe streets and neighborhoods.

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Tornielli said his department received complaints about illegal drug sales coming from a home in the 300 block of North 8th Street. Following up on leads, Vice investigators were able to obtain a search warrant for the second floor of 343 North 8th Street.

As a result of the raid, Tornielli says investigators found 906 grams of bulk Fentanyl (street value $290,980), $6,290 bags of Fentanyl packaged for sale (street value of $62,040), 1,989 Fentanyl pills (street value of $59,670) and 300,036 grams of bulk Cocaine (street value of $36,600).

Photo courtesy of the Reading Police Department.

Police also seized $4,187 vials of cocaine (street value of $41,800), 508 grams of bulk methamphetamine (street value of $50,800), 7lbs. of marijuana (street value of $31,783), 791 grams of bulk MDMA (street value of $7,919), in addition to various pistols and rifles.

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As a result of the investigation, Maximino Lopez Suarez, age 34, and Jesse William Garcia, age 24, were taken into custody and charged with multiple counts of possession of a controlled substance, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, and criminal conspiracy.

“This investigation, its subsequent arrests, and the seizure of a large quantity of illegal drugs and firearms will undoubtedly make that neighborhood and our city safer” said Tornielli. “Hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of illegal narcotics, including the extremely dangerous drug fentanyl, will not poison the residents of our city and our County. The seven firearms seized will never be used to inflict violence on our community.”

Tornielli added, “the officers, investigators and supervisors of the Reading Police Department will continue their efforts to make our city a safer place. They’ve been working tirelessly around the clock to conduct directed patrols further investigations and prevent acts of violence in our community. I would like to take this time to publicly commend them for all their efforts and hard work that often go unnoticed. Operations such as this investigation are inherently dangerous, as is all the work our women and men who wear the uniform do on a daily basis, yet they face that danger head-on to make our community a better place.”

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Jason Hugg
Jason Hugg
Editor and photographer at Berks Weekly.
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