Police seize more than $100,000 in drugs

LEWISTOWN – A Dominican Republic man who has been in the United States illegally was recently arrested on felony drug charges after police seized a large quantity of heroin and cocaine from a residence in Lewistown.

Mifflin County District Attorney Dave Molek said the defendant, Eddy A. Santana, 41, previously has been deported by United States Immigration and Naturalization Services.

Molek said the street value of the heroin and cocaine falls somewhere in between $100,000 and $175,000, depending on how it would be cut and sold. Police also seized nearly $9,000 in cash and assorted drug paraphernalia.

Molek said Santana has nine aliases and a lengthy, 16-page criminal history stretching back a number of years. The DA said Santana also had a number of fake identification cards in his possession and law enforcement officials were at first unsure of his true identity. He was then Live Scanned at the Mifflin County Correctional Facility and within an hour the INS called and revealed the true identity of the defendant.

“INS called and said they were looking for this guy … we think he needs to answer to these charges before he gets deported,” Molek said, adding that Santana could face a 5- to 10-year sentence in a state correctional facility.

Molek said when police were made aware of Santana they pounced immediately and caught him as he was on his way to make another drug deal. Just prior to his arrest, Santana allegedly swallowed two bags of suspected narcotics, which were not able to be recovered.

Police first became aware of Santana when a confidential informant led them to a Tina Strunk, 48, who transported a tote with a large quantity of narcotics in it to a Lewistown Borough residence, according to court documents. Strunk has also been charged with several felonies in connection with the drug seizure, according to documents.

Strunk was interviewed by Lewistown Police Officer Jeremy C. Poff and told him the drugs belonged to Santana. Santana was then interviewed by Mifflin County Detective Craig Snyder and he admitted the drugs were his, according to court documents.

Santana remains incarcerated in the Mifflin County Correctional Facility in lieu of $100,000 bail. A preliminary hearing has not yet been scheduled. Strunk also remains incarcerated on $50,000 bail and her preliminary hearing has not yet been scheduled.