Authorities in Pennsylvania have arrested nine people — including one police officer — for their alleged roles in a large-scale drug trafficking operation, prosecutors announced. Hanover Township Police Officer Kevin E. Davis was taken into custody last week for allegedly allowing his home to be used as a stash house for the suspected drug ring.
Davis is facing multiple felony charges, including six counts of manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to deliver, and one count each of being an employee of a corrupt organization and conspiracy, court records reviewed by Law&Crime show.
According to a press release from the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, investigators began looking into Gerinardo Rivera and Ramon Severino Fernandez — the operation’s alleged ringleaders — in December 2021.
Investigators allegedly discovered that Rivera and Fernandez coordinated drug resupplies for a slew of narcotics from a source in Mexico. Those narcotics were allegedly kept in a stash house in Wilkes-Barre owned by Davis, who is related to Rivera through marriage, per the DA’s Office.
“The six-month investigation, conducted by the Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Narcotics Investigation, resulted in the arrests of nine individuals, including Rivera, Fernandez, and Davis,” the press release said. “Agents also seized 10 pounds of meth worth over $600,000, 2.7 pounds or 63,000 doses of fentanyl, 10 pounds of marijuana, and $15,063 in cash.”
According to a nearly 200-page criminal complaint obtained by the Times Leader, investigators made a series of “controlled buys” using multiple confidential informants and monitored the phone lines and foot traffic outside of an apartment located in the 100 block of N. Meade Street.
Police executed a search warrant on the residence in late April. Along with the drugs, police also found a wifi-enabled security camera and an inflatable air mattress, which they described as the only evidence that anyone lived there.
Approximately one week before the April raid on the stash house, Davis allegedly contacted the Pennsylvania State Police Stroudsburg barracks to ask about the status of his cousin’s car, which had been impounded following a traffic stop in the Delaware Water Gap, per the Times Leader. That cousin was reportedly identified as Fernandez. Davis reportedly identified himself as a fellow police officer and state police told him that the vehicle was being held for a drug search.
“Davis repeated he was a police officer in Hanover Township and was not trying to affiliate with anyone involved in trouble. Davis stated since he was made aware there were no drugs involved, he didn’t mind helping out, but if they found something he wanted nothing to do with it,” the complaint reportedly said.
Davis was reportedly with Fernandez on April 14 when he picked up the vehicle from the state police barracks.
“Today we took down a drug trafficking organization with direct ties to the flow of illegal drugs across our southern border,” Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D) said in a statement. “Disrupting this pipeline and enforcing the law at the border are vital to protecting our communities. I want to thank our law enforcement partners for their hard work in this investigation and for their help in getting violent drug dealers off our streets.”
Davis is currently being held at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility. Magisterial District Judge Joseph Spagnuolo Jr. set the defendant’s bond at $500,000. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 29.
Rivera and Fernandez, along with alleged coconspirators Carlos Vasquez, Andrew Pope, and William Breha, have been charged with possession with intent to distribute, corrupt organizations, conspiracy, and criminal use of communications facility. Additionally, Mark Finley, Scott Knox, and Erin McNew were charged with criminal use of communications facility and criminal solicitation.
Read the filed criminal complaints below:
[Image Luzerne County Correctional Facility]
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