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Saturday, 16 April 2011

drug trafficking gangs have set up operations throughout eastern Pennsylvania, police arrested a man they say is a member of the Crips after a large amount of heroin was allegedly found during a traffic stop.

08:05 |

 drug trafficking gangs have set up operations throughout eastern Pennsylvania, police arrested a man they say is a member of the Crips after a large amount of heroin was allegedly found during a traffic stop.

The arrests of Alik Jerome Harrington, 36, of Kingston, and a woman from Blair County mirror what the federal report titled Eastern Pennsylvania Drug and Gang Threat Assessment details, which says gangs in the eastern half of Pennsylvania are trafficking drugs to the western half.

Police allege Harrington was the middle man picking up heroin in Baltimore, and giving it to Marie Michell Rhodes, 26, who would then sell individual heroin packets in the Altoona area for $20, according to charges filed.

Harrington and Rhodes were arrested after 250 heroin packets were allegedly found inside their vehicle that was stopped for not having a registration sticker on West Vaughn Street around 4:20 a.m. Thursday. Harrington was charged with more offenses on Friday after a search of his apartment on Division Street allegedly resulted in more heroin and contraband.

According to the criminal complaints:

After Rhodes was stopped on West Vaughn Street, a police canine detected illegal substances inside the vehicle. A search warrant was obtained that resulted in finding 250 heroin packets in a black bag containing rice inside the vehicle.

Police learned that Harrington, a member of the Crips street gang, was buying heroin in Baltimore and giving it to Rhodes to sell in the Altoona area.

Police obtained a search warrant for Harrington’s apartment, allegedly finding $2,100 cash, more than 100 heroin packets, two grams of raw heroin and a firearm reported stolen to the Hazleton Police Department in a burglary on Oct. 26, according to the criminal complaint.

An undercover drug detective said the two grams of raw heroin is enough to package 100 heroin packets when cut.

Police estimate the total amount of heroin seized had a street value of more than $9,000.

On Thursday, Harrington and Rhodes were charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and criminal conspiracy. Harrington was further charged on Friday with illegal possession of a firearm, receiving stolen property and drug offenses related to the illegal items allegedly found in his apartment.

Harrington and Rhodes were arraigned by District Judge Paul Roberts in Kingston and jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $150,000 and $50,000 bail, respectively.

Harrington is originally from Newark, N.J., police said, where he has 14 prior felony convictions on drugs and firearm offenses.

Preliminary hearings are scheduled on April 20 before Roberts.

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