Carlisle Police on Wednesday announced charges against 26 people in phase one of a drug enforcement operation in cooperation with the Cumberland County Drug Task Force.
The 22 arrests — four are still wanted by police — involve people selling illegal drugs on numerous occasions, according to the news release.
Carlisle Police Detective Daniel Freedman said the first arrest was made in December and it has been a “rolling operation” since as police attempt to work their way up the illicit drug supply chain.
Carlisle Police said in a news release that the goal of the drug enforcement operation is to “address the pervasive heroin and fentanyl epidemic that has tragically affected many of our citizens. These two drugs have contributed to countless overdoses and overdose deaths in Cumberland County.”
“I personally want to thank the Carlisle Borough Police Department and the Cumberland County Drug Task Force for their excellent police work in making these 26 arrests,” Cumberland County District Attorney Skip Ebert Jr. said in the release. “There is no question that these arrests have made a significant impact on heroin trafficking in the Carlisle area. I would hope that these arrests will lead to a reduction of overdoses in Cumberland County.”
Police said each person arrested had been previously identified as a heroin dealer in Carlisle. Some were also known to sell other substances in addition to heroin.
Freedman described the arrests as a mix of street-level and midlevel dealers.
Midlevel dealers according to Freedman are people who travel mostly to Philadelphia and bring back larger quantities of drugs to distribute to other people to sell, which he said was the main source of heroin in Cumberland County.
“The Carlisle Police Department has and will continue to make arrests when warranted,” Carlisle Chief of Police Taro Landis said. “It is our mission to make the Borough of Carlisle a safe place to live, work and visit. We believe the arrests of these subjects will help save lives from the effects of drugs in our community.”
Police said the enforcement effort will continue as the Carlisle Police Department and Cumberland County Drug Task Force move to the second phase of the operation. More arrests are expected as the operation proceeds.
As of the end of March, Carlisle Police were listed as the arresting agency in about 25 cases involving felony possession with intent to deliver, according to court records.
The police department was listed as the arresting agency in 14 cases during the same time last year, according to court records.
This equates to a more than 70 percent increase in cases through the first three months of the year.
Police identified those arrested and the drugs allegedly involved:
Four are still wanted:
For the South Middleton Township road crew, Wednesday was “very challenging.”
By 5 p.m. Wednesday, township road crews had cleared four roads of trees and tree limbs — RockLedge Drive, Zion Road, South Spring Garden Street and Hinkle Lane — and were still waiting on utility crews to handle downed wires before addressing downed trees and re-opening Mountain Road, Red Tank Road and Springville Road, according to township supervisor Tom Faley.
In addition to road crews, fire police were also at intersections across the county directing traffic.
One of the largest outages Wednesday involved 1,763 PPL customers along Walnut Bottom Road in Carlisle and South Middleton. Multiple traffic lights along Walnut Bottom Road was out around 4 p.m., causing traffic disruption and confusion.
While the Walnut Bottom Road outage was one of the largest, PPL and Met-Ed utility crews had to handle multiple outages in various pockets of the county.
In PPL’s coverage area, it also responded to more than 200 customer outages in West Pennsboro Township, and a little more than 100 outages each in North Middleton Township, Upper Allen Township, Middlesex Township and Lower Allen Township.
There were also small clusters of power outages in Hampden Township, East Pennsboro Township, Silver Spring Township, Carlisle Borough, Newville, Dickinson Township and Penn Township.
Met-Ed’s biggest outage in Cumberland County was in Monroe Township, where, at one point, 1,144 customers were without power Wednesday. That number was reduced to a little more than 180 by the end of business, but as that number decreased, other outages began popping up.
Hundreds of Met-Ed customers were without power in Cooke Township, Dickinson Township, Mount Holly Springs, South Middleton Township and Southampton Township.
The issues were largely due to the high winds, which ABC27 said was about 15 to 25 mph sustained with gusts of more than 40 mph. That coupled with rain and snow-saturated ground meant trees were more likely to topple onto roads and power lines.
Ask/Answered is a weekly feature for reader-submitted questions. Follow the blog online at www.cumberlink.com:
How many criminal homicides are committed with firearms?
In both Cumberland County and statewide, the most regularly used single type of weapon used in criminal homicides is a firearm, according the Pennsylvania State Police Uniform Crime Reporting System.
However, the frequency at which firearms are used to kill in Cumberland County is drastically lower in Cumberland County than the state as a whole.
Between 2007 and 2016, the most recent year available, there were 25 non-negligent criminal homicides in Cumberland County, according to State Police.
Non-negligent criminal homicide includes offenses like murder or voluntary manslaughter.
A firearm was used in more than one third of those deaths, State Police data show.
Knives or sharp objects were used in 12 percent of those deaths, blunt objects accounted for 8 percent, and strangulation was the method to kill in only one case, according to the UCR.
All other weapons as a category, which can range from poisoning and explosives to drowning and asphyxiation, were the cause of death in roughly 40 percent of cases, State Police records show.
Statewide, firearms were the cause death in nearly three quarters of the more than 6,000 reported non-negligent criminal homicides between 2007 and 2016, according to the UCR.
This equated to nearly 5,000 intentional killings where a firearm was the weapon used.
About 10 percent of killings were committed with a knife or sharp object during that time, 3 percent involved a blunt object, and 1 percent of deaths were the result of strangulation, according to State Police.
Look for a deeper, data-driven dive into firearm ownership trends and acts of violence committed with guns beginning this weekend in The Sentinel and on Cumberlink.com
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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump and border-state governors are working to “immediately” deploy the National Guard to the U.S.-Mexico border to fight illegal immigration, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Wednesday.
“The threat is real,” Nielsen said, adding that Trump was signing a proclamation to put the deployment into effect. “It’s time to act.”
The announcement came hours after Trump pledged “strong action today” on immigration and a day after he said he wanted to use the military to secure the southern border until his long-promised border wall is erected.
Nielsen said she’s been in touch with governors on the southwest border states and has been working with them to develop agreements that will oversee where and how many Guardsmen will be deployed. She suggested some troops could begin arriving as soon as Wednesday night, though other administration officials cautioned that details on troop levels, locations and timing were still being worked out.
“We do hope that the deployment begins immediately,” she said.
Trump has been frustrated by slow action on building his “big, beautiful wall” along the Mexican border — the signature promise of his campaign — as well as a recent uptick in illegal border crossings that had plunged during the early months of his presidency. He has also been fixated on the issue of border security since he grudgingly signed a spending bill last month that includes far less money for the wall than he’d hoped for.
Federal law prohibits the use of active-duty service members for law enforcement inside the U.S., unless specifically authorized by Congress. But over the past 12 years, presidents have twice sent National Guard troops to the border to bolster security and assist with surveillance and other support.
Nielsen said the effort would be similar to a 2006 operation in which President George W. Bush deployed troops to help U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel with nonlaw enforcement duties while additional border agents were hired and trained. President Barack Obama also sent about 1,200 troops in 2010 to beef up efforts against drug smuggling and illegal immigration.
Nielsen said her department had developed a list of locations where it would like assistance and was discussing with the governors how to facilitate the plans. She declined to say how many personnel would be needed or how much the operation would cost, but she insisted, “It will be as many as is needed to fill the gaps that we have today.”
One congressional aide said that lawmakers anticipate 300 to 1,200 troops will be deployed and that the cost of the deployment was expected to be at least $60 million to $120 million a year. The Pentagon can likely reprogram funds in the short term but would probably need authorization from Congress beyond a few months, said the aide, who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
The Republican governors of Texas and Arizona applauded the move, while New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, also a Republican, didn’t immediately comment on it. Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown of California, who has been sparring with Trump over immigration policies, is likely to oppose it.
Trump first revealed Tuesday that he’d been discussing the idea of using the military at the border with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.
“We’re going to be doing things militarily. Until we can have a wall and proper security, we’re going to be guarding our border with the military,” Trump said, calling the move a “big step.”
He spent the first months of his presidency bragging about a dramatic drop in illegal border crossings, which some DHS officials had even dubbed the “Trump effect.” Indeed, arrests at the border last April were at the lowest level since the Homeland Security Department was created in 2003, and the 2017 fiscal year saw a 45-year low for Border Patrol arrests.
But the numbers have been slowly ticking up since last April and are now on par with many months of the Obama administration. Statistics show 36,695 arrests of people trying to cross the southwest border in February 2018, up from 23,555 in the same month of the previous year.
Trump’s new focus on hard-line immigration policies appears aimed, at least in part, in drawing a political contrast with Democrats heading into the midterm elections. He has also been under growing pressure from conservative backers who have accused him of betraying his base for not delivering on the wall, and he was set off by images played on his favorite network, Fox News, of a “caravan” of migrants making their way through Mexico.
On Capitol Hill, many Republicans embraced the move.
House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, called the plan “a positive step toward providing the safety this nation has long demanded.” And Texas Sen. John Cornyn, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, called it “a common-sense way to temporarily assist law enforcement along the border.”
But Astrid Dominguez, director of the ACLU Border Rights Center, slammed it as “another impulsive reaction to not getting his way on his border wall” and “a dangerous move, contrary to the fundamental norms of a civil society.”
In Texas, which already has about 100 National Guard members stationed on the border, Gov. Greg Abbott, praised the president’s decision.
“Today’s action by the Trump administration reinforces Texas’ longstanding commitment to secure our southern border and uphold the rule of law, and I welcome the support,” he said.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey tweeted that his state “welcomes the deployment of National Guard to the border. Washington has ignored this issue for too long and help is needed.”