DA's office: Fentanyl, pounds of pot, illegal guns seized in Manchester Twp. home raid

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch
The York County Drug Task Force seized fentanyl, marijuana, illegal handguns and other items in a Tuesday, June 1, 2021, raid of a home in the 900 block of Redbud Court in Manchester Twp., according to the county DA's office.

The York County Drug Task Force raided the home of a Manchester Township couple last week and seized guns and drugs — including the deadly opioid fentanyl, according to the district attorney's office.

Task force investigators bought fentanyl from the couple at various locations in the York area over a three-week period, after which they searched the couple's home, DA's office spokesperson Kyle King said.

Arrested were Gabriel Alexander Rosario Ruiz, 29, and girlfriend Latima Renea Backus, 34, both of the 900 block of Redbud Court, King said.

The task force raided the couple's home on June 1 and found them locked inside a second-floor bathroom — where packages of fentanyl and a handgun were found in a toilet, according to King.

As the task force searched the rest of the home, they found $12,000 cash, more fentanyl, several pounds of loose and packaged marijuana, a pot-growing operation with 11 plants, marijuana edibles and drug-dealing paraphernalia, King said in a news release.

Gabriel Alexander Rosario Ruiz, seen in this York County Central Booking Unit photo wearing a neck brace. The DA's office said the neck brace he is wearing is from a prior traffic crash and is unrelated to his June 1, 2021, arrest for being an alleged fentanyl and marijuana dealer.

Also seized were four more handguns, found in a bedroom safe, he said. Two of those firearms are "ghost guns," meaning guns that are untraceable because they have no serial numbers, King said.

More:York DA: Police investigating more fatal opioid ODs since COVID-19, arrests remain steady

'Immeasurable' suffering: District Attorney Dave Sunday said in the news release that fentanyl dealers have contributed to "immeasurable pain and suffering" in York County for "far too long."

Nearly all of the illegal heroin being sold that has killed people in York County has at least some fentanyl in it, according to York County Coroner Pam Gay — and sometimes has no heroin in it at all, just fentanyl and filler. 

The widespread prevalence of fentanyl being sold in street "heroin" means police are using more Narcan when they try to revive opioid-overdose victims, police have said. Narcan, also called naloxone, can reverse the effects of opioids and overdoses.

More:Police in York County using more Narcan as fentanyl makes heroin even deadlier

"While they may think it's 'just heroin,' deep down in their hearts I think most users would know there is a risk there's fentanyl in it," York County Coroner Pam Gay has said. "But I don't think it stops them. That's really why a lot of (police departments) went to 4 milligram (naloxone doses). Because the 2 milligram was not doing it."

Latima Renea Backus

Rosario Ruiz, 29, remains in York County Prison on $200,000 bail, charged with six counts of drug possession with intent to deliver and one count of possession of a firearm prohibited, all felonies, plus lesser offenses, according to court records.

Backus, 34, remains in county prison on $100,000 bail, charged with four felony counts of drug possession with intent to deliver as well as lesser offenses, court records state.

The York County Quick Response Team and Northern York County Regional Police assisted in the investigation, King said.

— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.