DA: Husband and wife among ‘major drug suppliers’ arrested in Ephrata

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Holly D. Ortiz (Left) and William Ortiz Jr. (Right)

Holly D. Ortiz (Left) and William Ortiz Jr. (Right)

EPHRATA, Pa.–A major drug operation was busted in Lancaster County and authorities say it was a family affair.

William Ortiz Jr., 39, and his wife, Holly D. Ortiz, 29, were arrested Wednesday after authorities confiscated 37 grams of heroin, along with large quantities of methamphetamine and cocaine with a total street value of $11,000, according to the Lancaster County District Attorney’s office. The arrests come after a three-month investigation into drug activity in the Lancaster County and surrounding areas.

William is charged with manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance and criminal use of a communication facility. A judge set William’s bail at $600,000. Holly is charged with manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance and conspiracy. Her bail is set at $100,000.

Officers with the Lancaster and Berks County Drug Task Forces and Ephrata police executed a search warrant at two locations this week, resulting in the seizure of drugs and vehicles, prosecutors said.

Photo Credit: Lancaster County District Attorney's office

Photo Credit: Lancaster County District Attorney’s office

Authorities believe William brought the drugs into the area from New Jersey, where he formerly lived. Both William and Holly sold drugs on numerous occasions to undercover detectives, prosecutors said.

“Taking this much heroin off the street is very likely to save at least one life,” District Attorney Craig Stedman said Friday, “but we have a lot more to do and will continue to make sure our Drug Task Force works with municipal departments to make their communities safer.”

Authorities plan to file additional charges in the coming days.

A preliminary hearing for the pair is scheduled for Oct. 15.