For months, Victor Garcia is accused of overseeing the pickups and dropoffs of up to a kilogram of heroin a week from a Bronx barbershop to Scranton.
On Tuesday, the suspected heroin supplier was the subject of a pickup and dropoff after authorities said Mr. Garcia was arrested in New York and arraigned here. Mr. Garcia, 30, of the Bronx, faces charges of participating in corrupt organizations, conspiracy to deliver heroin, delivery of heroin, possession with intent to deliver heroin and criminal use of a communications facility.
Mr. Garcia, who reputedly supplied two major heroin rings, is the 23rd person arrested since the dismantling of the rings began Thursday. Twenty-seven people have been charged.
A kilogram of heroin (2.2 pounds) has an approximate street value of $50,000. A bag of heroin sells for $20 on the street. Authorities said Thursday that the rings dealt at least $3.85 million in heroin since April, but now believe it may have been more.
“Based on information we’ve received since the arrest, that may be a conservative estimate,” said Kevin Harley, spokesman for state Attorney General Tom Corbett.
Mr. Garcia supposedly supplied both rings until he is believed to have had a falling out with members of one of the rings, said city police Detective Sgt. Timothy J. Harding, who supervises the department’s five-person narcotics unit. Mr. Garcia is accused of carrying the heroin in a hidden compartment in his car. Detective Sgt. Harding said Mr. Garcia was observed dropping off the heroin to Siburt S. Walter of New York and city resident Jose D. Quintero.
The investigation began in October of last year when junkies tipped police about large heroin sales. That led to informants purchasing heroin for police and phone taps of suspected dealers.
“It just would spin on to other people the further we investigated,” Detective Sgt. Harding said. “When it got to a certain level, we realized there was no way that Scranton police had the resources to continue investigating this by themselves.”
Detective Sgt. Harding said police contacted agents from the Bureau of Narcotics Investigation and Drug Control, a division of the state attorney general’s office. The agents were already investigating some suspected ring members.
“We started connecting the dots and realizing that it was bigger than both of us originally estimated,” Detective Sgt. Harding said.