Catty K-9 unit aids in drug arrests
The Catasauqua Police Department's K-9 Unit assisted with the arrest of two men Oct. 2.
Alberto Mercedes, 47, of Homestead, Fla., and Jose Manuel Martinez, 58, of Houston, Texas, were charged with possession with intent to deliver 10 kilos of cocaine and a first-degree felony of conspiracy.
District Judge Robert C. Halal, who arraigned Mercedes and Martinez, denied them bail.
The two men were charged after an investigation was initiated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration New York Field Division and the DEA Allentown Resident Office.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, at about 7:30 p.m. Oct. 2, police and agents conducted surveillance in the 300 block of North 15th Street, Allentown, when they saw Martinez park a vehicle with a Florida license plate in the 300 block of North Fulton Street. Martinez walked to the front of 324 N. 15th St.
At about the same time, police and agents saw Mercedes park a vehicle with a Florida license plate at the back of 324 N. 15th St., the affidavit says.
Search warrants were executed and police found five brick-shaped packages that were believed to be cocaine in the vehicle Martinez had been driving. Inside the vehicle Mercedes was operating, police found another five brick-shaped packages wrapped in electrical tape, the affidavit says.
The packages contained a total of 10 kilos of cocaine, according to Joseph P. Stauffer, chief detective of the Drug Task Force. Authorities seized $10,000 in cash from one of the vehicles.
Other agencies involved in the arrests included the DEA, the Lehigh County District Attorney's Drug Task Force and the Allentown Police Department.