Dunmore Police Department Chief Pat Reese spoke at the Dunmore Borough Council meeting on Monday, April 11 about the ever-increasing use of bath salts as a recreational drug.
Recently, the Lackawanna County District Attorney’s office declared a county-wide ban on the sale of bath salts, and the Lackawanna County Commissioners approved an emergency ordinance against the substances on Wednesday.
“The Dunmore Police Department went to all of the businesses in town to find out who was selling bath salts and who wasn’t,” Reese said. “We found out that there were a few individuals who were selling them. We spoke to them, and they agreed to take them off the shelf. They were taken off of the shelves prior to the district attorney’s office putting that into effect.”
Reese said the Dunmore Police Department will continue to work with county officials to discover people who are either using or illegally selling bath salts. Currently, the district attorney’s office is performing undercover operations throughout Lackawanna County.
One such operation removed nearly 600 containers of the substance from one store’s shelves, according to Lackawanna County Deputy District Attorney Robert Klein.
“I could tell you that since probably November we’ve responded to several complaints of bath salt use,” Reese said. “It is an ongoing issue, and I can tell you that our officers are going to arrest and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law anyone who is caught with it or who is under the influence of it.”
Reese also discussed the Dunmore Police Department’s collaboration with the FBI regarding an investigation involving stolen goods in reference to money laundering. He also informed council about an incident that took place April 8 on the O’Neill Highway.
“This past Friday several of our officers did an outstanding job responding to the O’Neill Highway for an individual who was planning on jumping off of the bridge onto I-81 North,” Reese said. “Officer (Anthony) Cali was first on scene and spoke to the individual who was hanging over the bridge. They did an excellent job stopping traffic as did the Pennsylvania State Police stopping the traffic on I-81 North.
“Officer Cali talked the individual off the bridge and took him into custody and brought him in for treatment. The Dunmore Police Department members who responded acted very professionally, and we are very proud of them.”
Reese also asked for borough residents’ help in tracking down an intruder that is still at large in the borough.
“This past Thursday, April 7, we had a burglary on Mill Street,” he said. “Captain (Sal) Marchese and Officer (Bob) Ruddy identified this individual earlier in the day. Later on that evening, the homeowner came home and saw his residence was broken into and contacted the police.
“Thankfully the captain and the officer identified this suspect and currently this person is still at large, but we are working with various law enforcement agencies within the county to find this individual.”
If you have any information about the alleged intruder or have any other crime-fighting tips, call the Dunmore Borough Police Department at (570) 343-0851.