The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

November 16, 2013

Freed for $1, nabbed again

Cops: Suspect in 356-bag heroin bust bailed out, arrested with 98

MILTON — MILTON — Fourteen months after Sunbury police made the largest heroin bust in city history by seizing 356 bags of the narcotic from Matthew Romero, the man also known as Matthew Suarez walked out of jail for $1 bail and went right back to work, Milton police say.

Romero, 30, formerly of 331 Pennsylvania Ave., Sunbury, was arrested Nov. 10 after Milton police made a routine traffic stop and discovered he had 98 bags of heroin inside the vehicle.

Romero was charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and several traffic violations, police said.

In June 2012, Romero and Jason Mercado, 29, of Sunbury, were arrested after officers and the Northumberland-Montour County Drug Task Force made several controlled purchases of heroin from the pair.

After 72 hours of investigation in 2012, Sunbury police made the historic bust and seized nearly $10,000 worth of heroin.

Romero was released from state prison only months before the 2012 bust. He had served state time for drug-related offenses, police said.

Romero was incarcerated at Northumberland County Prison when he filed for a bail modification from $250,000 cash. Romero was granted the reduction and posted $1 on Aug. 9 as he awaited trial.

About three months later, Milton police said they stopped Romero, now of Williamsport, and discovered the drugs.

Romero is back in the city jail in lieu of $100,000 cash.

Sunbury police said they entered Romero’s city home in 2012 and found 356 bags of heroin stamped with “Angry Birds,” the name of the popular mobile phone game.

Officers also found almost $1,000 in cash and two women, who were sent to the Northumberland and Snyder county prisons on probation violations. They were not identified by police.

Romero said he came to Sunbury from Florida after visiting relatives years ago. Romero also told Sunbury District Judge Ben Apfelbaum in 2012 that he worked as a tattoo artist and has several children.

Romero is awaiting a preliminary hearing on the new charges.

 

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