Citizens aid in Newberry drug bust

Mayor Gabriel J. Campana, joined by county District Attorney Eric Linhardt and city and local police, lauded the vigilance of Newberry citizens, which led to the arrest of six individuals at a Thursday news conference.

“Today is a positive day in the great city of Williamsport. I believe the city of Williamsport is a little bit safer because of the partnership between, first of all, state police, Williamsport Police Department, district attorney’s office but most importantly the citizens of Newberry,” Campana said.

Six individuals, ranging in age from 19 to 39 years old, were arrested for alleged drug activity at 2337 Dove St., a rental property, at 3:30 a.m. Wednesday.

The joint effort between the local and state police will continue throughout the summer months, in order to have more of a presence in neighborhoods.

City Police Captain Tim Miller said the police received complaints from Newberry residents for about six months on the alleged drug activity. Miller added that one of the individuals “crashed through a double-pane window in an effort to escape,” but was apprehended outside the residence.

It was these tips that led to the arrests, said Linhardt.

“This is an important day,” Linhardt said. “And the reason why it is, is because the arrests that we were able to make yesterday are a direct result of the cooperation of people in our community who are willing to pick up the phone and let law enforcement know of drug activity that (was) going on in their neighborhood.”

Miller added that a search of the Dove Street residence led to the discovery of a firearm, $5,000 in cash, heroin, cocaine and marijuana.

Campana encouraged residents to continue sending in tips of illegal activity, as it “helps us get the job done.”

“It is important that citizens feel comfortable calling law enforcement with information that they have. I know sometimes citizens feel that investigations take longer than they would like they often times take longer than we would like but the information is being followed up on,” Linhardt said.

Campana also noted that the recent arrests at a rental property again creates a need for the proposed landlord-tenant ordinance. Miller reported that 60 percent of the city are renters, which is an “unusually high number.” Five of the individuals provided Philadelphia addresses but police said it appeared that they resided at the Dove Street residence.

“This was a – once again – a rental property in the city of Williamsport,” Campana said. “I just want to briefly highlight that’s one of the reasons why this administration is advocating a landlord-tenant notification because many landlords are not doing their job. Most are, but many are not.”

City Police Chief Gregory A. Foresman said the ordinance would make landlords more responsible.

“I believe this ordinance can be very, very helpful,” Campana said.