By: Don Shaw email: (570) 543-2961

Wilkes-Barre shootings investigation leads to warrants, drug bust

Wilkes-Barre shootings investigation leads to warrants, drug bust

Wilkes-Barre, PA

Today March 8, 2019, the Wilkes-Barre Police Department and the United States Marshals Service, FBI Safe Streets, Pennsylvania State Police and Kingston Police executed and arrest warrant at the address of 127 Academy Street Wilkes-Barre.

Authorities say the warrant was the result of the ongoing investigation into the recent rash of shootings within the City of Wilkes-Barre. Officers say they have identified several subjects involved in the recent rash of shootings with several of them being wanted on both aggravated assault and unrelated charges.

Police identified one of those subjects as Nigel Velardo and tracked him to the address on Academy Street. Officers say they as they  searched the building Velardo escaped from the apartment by jumping out of a third floor window. He then broke into an adjoining apartment and hid inside.

Police say Velardo was located  ordered out of the apartment. Following a brief standoff he came out of the apartment unarmed and was taken into custody without incident according to authorities.

Police say the apartment he was being hidden in was secured and a search warrant was issued and executed.

Officers of the Wilkes-Barre Police and Kingston Police then executed a search warrant at the address. Police say they seized evidence of financial crimes, large quantities of heroin, MDMA, suspected cocaine, scales, packaging material and three handguns.

Both Velardo and the resident, Brianna Knight, were taken into custody and transported to Police Headquarters for processing and arraigned to await further court action.

The investigation is a result of the concentrated efforts of law enforcement into drug trafficking activity and violent crime in the City of Wilkes-Barre. The Wilkes-Barre Police Department, Anti Crime Unit, the Pennsylvania State Police Troop P Vice Unit, the Luzerne County Drug Task Force, Kingston Police Department, FBI Safe Streets and US Marshals Service participated in the investigation.