US Marijuana Party

Sunday, June 19, 2005


The Standard-Speaker

PA - Hazleton police wearing masks, helmets and body armor broke into a house where they suspected crack cocaine sales occurred, apprehended a woman and seized evidence Friday afternoon.Police from the Special Operations Group, distinguished by their protective garb and high-tech gear, conducted the drug raid at 18-20 E. First St.

The raid began near 3 p.m. as police walked out of their van and began marching in tight line toward the house and single file up the steps.

Most carried semi-automatic weapons. Some wore helmets and all donned black masks.

A girl outside the house screamed "Mom'' more than once as police passed.

"Police," an officer announced before battering the door open.

Jacqueline Bartenope, 39, crouched behind the slats of an interior stairway banister that partially obscured the view of her through the front entrance as a police officer pointed an automatic weapon at her.

Unsure how many people were inside, police searched both halves of the double house.

They found no one else, but located drug paraphernalia consisting of "a metal pipe used for smoking crack, wrapping papers and a marijuana bong," according to a criminal complaint.

Police took Bartenope into custody and charged her with one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia. No drugs were found at the scene.

Bartenope said she was planning to move to a different home.

Her daughter watched the raid from outside the house, while her son was down the street on his bicycle.

Police led Bartenope out of the house in handcuffs as Mayor Louis Barletta watched.

After being arraigned by District Judge Thomas Sharkey she was released on her own recognizance.


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