It all started with a heroin bust in Honesdale about five months ago, says Wayne County District Attorney Janine Edwards.
“A target was identified in Pike County and I immediately called and asked DA Tonkin if he would come with his detectives so we could collectively work on the most effective strategy of knocking off as many dealers in Wayne and Pike Counties as we could,” she said.
The end result, Pike District Attorney Raymond Tonkin said Friday morning at a press conference, has been a total seven arrests, the purchase or seizure of more than 1,800 packets of heroin, the confiscation of $11,000 and several weapons.
That initial Wayne County arrest led police to 40-year-old Louis Stellato IV of Dingmans Ferry who was taken into custody in November, and then to 41-year-old Walter “Wizzy” Brown of Paterson, NJ, who was supplying him the heroin. Detectives linked Brown to 22-year-old Brandon DeForge of Greentown, and a new surveillance law in Pennsylvania helped them track their movements, said Tonkin.
“The new law allows us to monitor the location of a person’s cell phone after we’ve obtained a court order based on probable cause,” he explained.
That made it possible for investigators to track Brown, DeForge and 31-year-old Luis Rivera of Paterson, NJ, Tuesday as they made controlled purchase in Blooming Grove Township. As part of the investigation, police also arrested 19-year-old Joseph Stellato–Riley of Dingmans Ferry and 34-year-old Christopher Brisendine of Greentown.
The final arrest came Thursday, when police intercepted 23-year-old Nicholas Huebner of Honesdale ad he returned from Paterson, NJ, with 72 bags of heroin and $450.