Two charged in Berks County marijuana bust

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Michael Walsh, Adrian Alvarez

BERKS COUNTY, Pa. (WPMT) Two suspected drug dealers are behind bars following a lengthy investigation that began in early September by detectives with the Berks County District Attorney’s Drug Task Force.  The investigation, the result of citizens complaints of suspected drug trafficking, was focused in the area of the 700 block of Franklin Street, Shoemakersville.

Evidence-Hash

During the investigation, detectives learned that Michael Hash, of 715 Franklin Street, along with unnamed others were responsible for dealing substantial quantities of marijuana to customers in smoke and edible forms.  Hash would allegedly extract the THC from the marijuana and prepare butter laced with THC, and then bake the butter into commercial cereal. THC is the main mind-altering ingredient found in the Cannabis plant.  Hash utilized his cellular telephone to facilitate sales to customers from his home and on occasions made deliveries with his personal vehicle.

The Berks County Drug Task Force Detectives ascertained that Hash was being supplied with pounds of marijuana by Adrian A. Alvarez of 1811 W. Master Street, Philadelphia.

Between early September and October of 2014, an undercover drug task force officer made four purchases of marijuana from the suspects. Three of the transactions were made from Hash’s home. A fourth undercover purchase was made from Alvarez in Caerarvon Township, Berks County.

On October 6 at approximately 6:47 AM, the Drug Task Force Detectives served a search warrant at 714 Franklin Street, Shoemakersville and for the body of Hash. The search warrant was for the schedule I controlled substance of marijuana and related paraphernalia.

As a result of the search, the following items were seized: Two digital scales, handwritten records of sales and orders for edible snacks containing THC, communications with co-conspirator(s) relative to the distribution of marijuana, a cellular telephone, clear plastic bag containing butter laced w/ THC, three bags containing bulk marijuana (street value of $7200), six bags containing marijuana (street value of $1800), twenty-one edible treats believed to be laced with THC butter (street value of $105), a machine utilized to manufacture butter laced with THC and $3901.00 in US currency. At the time, the detectives raided the residence the suspect, Hash was present and placed under arrest.

Hash was transported to the Berks County Sheriff’s Department Central Processing Center for processing. He was arraigned and bail was set at $25,000.

On Monday October 27, Drug Task Force Detectives and the Pennsylvania State Police,Philadelphia Drug Strike Force served two search warrants; one was for the body of Adrian A. Alvarez and his 2010 Cadillac vehicle in Caernarvon Township, Berks County, and the second was for Alvarez’s residence, 1811 W. Master Street, Unit B, Philadelphia, PA.

The Caernarvon Township search warrant was for the schedule I controlled substance of marijuana and related paraphernalia.  The Philadelphia search warrant was for the schedule I controlled substance of marijuana and related paraphernalia.

Evidence-Alvarez

As a result of the two searches, the following items were seized: Several bags of bulk marijuana (street value of $12,000), a digital scale, several documents related to Alvarez, a cellular telephone, numerous packaging materials related to marijuana, a machine utilized heat seal marijuana in plastic bags and $7,600.00 in cash. At the time, the detectives executed the search warrant on the Cadillac, Alvarez was driving the car and he was placed under arrest.

Additionally, Alvarez was wanted by the Monroe County Sheriff’s department for failure to appear regarding a simple assault case. He was also wanted by State College police officials for an Aggravated Assault warrant.

Alvarez was transported to the Berks County Sheriff’s Department Central Processing Center for processing. Following arraignment he was committed to Berks County Prison in lieu of $75,000 bail.

The investigation is continuing and further charges will be filed on unnamed suspect(s).

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