Meth operation busted in Lancaster

LANCASTER, PA -- The Lancaster County Drug Task Force arrested two Reading women they say were transporting meth to Lancaster.

Detectives stopped a green Honda Civic on South Ridge Road in Reinholds on Friday, October 4.

Detectives found about six ounces of methamphetamine in the Honda, occupied by Lisandra Hance-Ramirez, 48, and Alexia M. Perez, both of Reading.

The meth has an estimated street value of about $3,000.

Brett Hambright with the Lancaster County District Attorney's Office said the county Drug Task Force was surveilling the women for a number of weeks.

As part of the operation, the task force allegedly purchased meth from the women, previously.

“To get the probable cause and justification for searching a vehicle, they would’ve had to have reason to believe and to prove that these two were involved in drug trafficking. That involved a surveilled buy involving an operative with the task force,” said Hambright.

He also said the Drug Task Force had reason to believe they'd be in the West Cocalico Township area on October 4, which led up to their apprehension.

While the amount of meth seized doesn't seem like a lot, Hambright said it's a "big get" and "impactful."

He said the Drug Task Force has a targeted operation of stopping drug pipelines coming from outside of the county.

Hambright said meth's presence continues to rise in Lancaster County and is "everywhere."

“You hate to use the word epidemic too much but we see that as, you know, if it’s pervasive in just about every community in our county then we’re at that point,” said Hambright.

He said one reason investigators believe meth is seeing an uptick is the fact that meth, alone, rarely causes overdose deaths.

Investigators believe dealers are moving meth instead of opioids to avoid the risk of a drug delivery resulting in death charge.

Hance-Ramirez and Perez were arraigned on felony charges.

Hambright said they waived their preliminary hearings on Wednesday and received a bail reduction from $500,000, apiece, to $100,000, apiece.

The women remain in custody at the Lancaster County Prison.

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