On April 21, 2018 at 11:00 PM, Hazleton City Police Department Patrol Division responded to a report of an unresponsive female in a vehicle in the area of Vine and Spruce Streets.
Police state the investigation led to officers discovering a large amount of US currency($13,161.00) in ziplock baggies, a small amount of methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana.
The driver, Joshua Garced 29, was also found to be in possession of a firearm with obliterated serial numbers. Garced was taken into custody and was charged by the Patrol Division with the following charges:
Possessing a firearm with manufacturer number altered(Felony 2)
Receiving stolen property (Felony)
Firearms not to be carried without a license(F3)
Possession of controlled substance(M)
Possession of drug paraphernalia(M)
Garced was arraigned and lodged in the Luzerne County Correctional Facility after failing to post $100,000.00 bail.
The investigation continued and led officers to a garage at Rear 626 North Locust Street when the patrol division contacted Detectives from the Hazleton Narcotics Division and Detectives from the Major Crimes Division who responded to the scene.
Based on the investigation, a search warrant was executed on the garage and a vehicle located in the garage. Detectives seized the following:
One AK-47 Assault Rifle
One AR-15 Assault rifle
Large amounts of packaging materials of marijuana and heroin.
Police state that at this time the status of all weapons is being investigated as some are believed to be stolen and the case is still under investigation.
Statement from HPD Chief Jerry Speziale:
"The mission of the Hazleton City Police Department is to enhance the quality of life in our City by working in partnership with the community to enforce the law, preserve peace, reduce fear, and maintain order. The Hazleton Police Department is committed to accomplishing its mission of protecting the lives and property of all the citizens and visitors of Hazleton by treating everyone with compassion, courtesy, professionalism, and respect, while efficiently rendering public safety services and enforcing the laws impartially, by fighting crime both through deterrence and the relentless pursuit of criminals."
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