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Press Releases

Press Releases from the City of Reading


READING: Today, Reading Police Department Chief Richard Tornielli issued the following statement regarding drug-related overdose incidents in the City of Reading:

“Between 4:00 am on Friday, September 10th and 3:00 pm on Sunday, September 12th, the Reading Police Department and Reading Fire Department Emergency Management Services responded to approximately 34 overdose incidents in the City of Reading. One of the suspected overdose incidents involved a patient that was transported to Reading Hospital on September 11th and subsequently died on September 12th. That incident is currently being investigated to determine if it is related to the series of overdoses. Patrol Division supervisors recognized the trend of these incidents and alerted Vice Investigators, who immediately initiated an investigation into the overdoses. Based on the information developed in the investigation, Vice Investigators obtained a search warrant for a garage located in the 200 block of N 8th Street in the City of Reading.

Vice Investigators, assisted by members of the RPD Patrol Division and Berks County Detectives, executed the search warrant at approximately 3:00 pm on Sunday, September 12th. Investigators recovered the following illegal narcotics as a result of the search warrant:

• 200 bags of suspected heroin/fentanyl
•10.5 grams of suspected bulk cocaine
•141 bags of suspected cocaine packaged for street sales
•Drug packaging material

During the search warrant, Jayson Cuadrado, 38 years old, and Dimitri Ortega, 28 years old, were taken into custody and charged with felony drug and related charges.

Since the enforcement actions taken by the Reading Police Department, only three overdoses have been reported in the City of Reading.
The Patrol and Investigations personnel of the Reading Police Department should be commended for rapidly identifying a trend of serious overdose incidents and conducting an investigation that resulted in the seizure of narcotics potentially related to the overdoses, and arresting two individuals who were involved in the illegal drug trade. The Reading Police Department takes all criminal activity that affects the safety and health of our residents seriously and will continue to aggressively track down and prosecute those involved in criminal activity in the City of Reading.”