Authorities say they busted a local drug ring that was importing large amounts of heroin and crack cocaine from Bronx, New York, by concealing the narcotics inside the bodies of female associates.
Police have arrested 10 suspected drug dealers so far and continue to hunt for several others.
Investigators identified the ringleader as Charles Gibson, 37, known on the streets as “Bucky” and “Bro.” They say he traveled back to a Bronx barber shop every few days to replenish his drug supply to sell in Luzerne County.
Arrest papers say investigators set up a plan to nab Gibson last week when he was returning from one of his drug runs. He was wanted for selling drugs to undercover informants, police said. They pulled his vehicle over on Route 115 in Wilkes-Barre Township.
Police said Gibson’s two passengers — his girlfriend Tanay Jones, 25, of Bronx, New York, and associate Kassandra Martin, 35, of Wilkes-Barre — later acknowledged having drugs hidden in body cavities, arrest papers say.
Martin was also charged with aggravated assault for a December 13, 2016 incident at the female strip search area of the county prison when police say she fought with an officer while trying to hide smuggled drugs inside herself. The female officer suffered a broken back, police said.
Arrest papers say confidential informants told police that it was known that Gibson had female associates put his drugs inside their bodies to hide it from police during transport.
Court documents say the arrests were the result of a joint investigation by the Kingston police narcotics division, the state police, the Luzerne County Drug Task Force and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The others arrested as part of the investigation include:
• Bronx residents John “Goose” Maybank, 24, and Luis “JB” Nevarez, 18, identified as Gibson’s main drug runners.
• Allen Shotwell, 29, and his wife Kristyna, 29, of 73 High Street, Plymouth, the site of several alleged drug deals.
• William Waring, 25, of Bronx, New York, accused of delivering drugs to 73 High St. twice while investigator had the home under surveillance.
• Adam D. Gottstein, 30, of 15 S. Welles Avenue in Kingston, who was accused of selling heroin to a confidential informant
• Cara Dubaskas, 24, of 615 Lee Street, Plymouth, who is accused of selling heroin to a confidential informant at 15 S. Welles Avenue in Kingston.
Maybank and Nevarez were arrested a month ago and jailed in the Luzerne County Correctional Facility. Magisterial District Judge Daniel O’Donnell set Maybank’s bail at $50,000 cash. Magisterial District Judge David Barilla set Nevarez’s bail at $100,000 cash.
Magisterial District Judge Donald Whittaker arraigned the other eight suspects last week, ordering them lodged in jail for failure to post $250,000 cash bail.