Drug trafficking indictments include city suspect

A city man was among more than 17 indicted this week on charges of allegedly bringing drugs into central Pennsylvania from Puerto Rico.

Ariel Diaz, 33, formerly of the 1500 block of Scott Street, was charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine and two counts of attempted

possession with intent to distribute cocaine, according to the U.S. Attorney David J. Freed.

Diaz and others were indicted by a federal grand jury with being part of a network that brought large amounts of cocaine and heroin into the Milton and Lewisburg areas.

The grand jury in Harrisburg returned the indictments Wednesday, officials said.

Charges include some weapon possession charges.

The drug trafficking conspiracy entailed

kilogram quantities of cocaine sent from Puerto

Rico through the U.S. Postal Service to Pennsylvania and being purchased in California and transported to Pennsylvania.

The cocaine was then distributed to co-conspirators for delivery to customers in Dauphin, Northumberland, and Union counties.

It is also alleged that heroin and fentanyl were obtained from known and unknown sources and distributed to

co-conspirators for

distribution.

It is further alleged that co-conspirators maintained apartments in Milton for the purpose of packaging, storing, and distributing heroin and cocaine.

The conspiracy took place between March 1, 2017 and Wednesday.

A host of agencies handled the investigation, including the Drug Enforcement Administration, state police, Postal Inspection Service, the Milton Police Department, the Buffalo Valley Regional Police Department, the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, the Dauphin, Montour and Northumberland Counties Drug Taskforce and Office of Attorney General, Bureau of Narcotics Investigations.

The U.S. Marshal Service assisted in the arrests of the defendants.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Daryl F. Bloom is prosecuting the case.

The maximum penalty under federal law for defendants ranges from 20 years to life imprisonment.