Police: 'Operation Lint Trap' snags 11 heroin dealers
A three-month investigation into street-level heroin dealing in an alley behind a York City laundromat ended with officers arresting 11 alleged York-area dealers, and three more are still being sought, police said.
The 200 block of Miller Lane, which runs parallel to, and between, South Queen and South Duke streets, had become known to addicts as a reliable place to score heroin, according to York City Detective First Class Andrew Shaffer.
"Once an area is established as a hot spot, that's where a lot of your users end up," he said.
The 14 alleged dealers were merely street-level sellers, according to Shaffer, and weren't working together.
Although they weren't moving large amounts of the opioid, it still made for a quality-of-life issue in the neighborhood, the detective said.
The dealers were selling as little as one bag of heroin at a time, which can cost between $5 and $10, depending on quality, according to Shaffer.
Police dubbed the investigation "Operation Lint Trap" because the alley is behind a laundromat, Shaffer said, adding the laundromat had nothing to do with the drug dealing there.
Family tips: Shaffer said the Nuisance Abatement Unit began investigating after the city received numerous phone calls from the loved ones of heroin addicts to report the location as an open-air drug market.
Police fielded calls from parents, grandparents and other family members, he said.
"There was a lot of activity there, especially in the mornings," Shaffer said.
That's because most heroin addicts need the drug as soon as they wake up or they become ill, known as being "dope sick," he said.
The city's four nuisance-abatement officers used confidential informants to buy heroin from the 14 dealers frequenting the alley, according to Shaffer.
Three still wanted: The trio of alleged dealers still being sought are Thomas Beattie III, 18; Lionel Jenkins, 34; and Pedro Ortiz, 31. Each is facing one count of heroin delivery, Shaffer said.
The 11 people arrested for alleged heroin delivery are: Agustin Rivera-Dejesus, 38; Francisco Rivera-Rivera, 24; Willie McDonald, 47; Gerald Custodio-Cintron, 37; Marisol Ayala, 46; Wilson Molina, 34, Carlos Valentin Carrero Jr., 28; Edwin Pantojas, 54; Emmanuel Molina-Alicea, 29; and a 16-year-old juvenile.
Anyone who knows the whereabouts of Beattie, Jenkins or Ortiz is asked to call York City Police at 717-846-1234, or anonymously text "yorktips" and then your tip to 847411.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at email@example.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.