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(844) 627-8267 | Info@NationalCyberSecurity

Lebanon County men draw prison after Upper Merion car stop leads to seizure of fentanyl | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey

NORRISTOWN — Two Lebanon County men are headed to state prison on drug trafficking charges after they were stopped in a vehicle by state police in Upper Merion and about 200 grams of fentanyl was seized.

Wilfred Alvarez-Rodriguez, 24, of the unit block of East Walnut Street, Lebanon, was sentenced in Montgomery County Court to 6 to 12 years in a state correctional facility after a jury convicted him at a two-day trial of charges of conspiracy to engage in possession with intent to deliver controlled substances, possession of drug paraphernalia and resisting arrest in connection with the Jan. 26, 2022, incident along Route 76 in Upper Merion Township.

Jose Delvalle-Melendez, 29, of the 100 block of Ninth Street, Lebanon, was sentenced to 5 to 10 years in state prison after he pleaded guilty to charges of possession with intent to deliver fentanyl and conspiracy in connection with the incident.

Judge Thomas P. Rogers imposed the sentences and ordered that both men undergo psychological evaluations.

Alvarez-Rodriguez immediately filed a motion asking the judge to reconsider the sentence and a hearing is expected to be held at a later date.

The investigation began about 4:40 p.m. Jan. 26, 2022, when state police at Skippack conducted a traffic stop of a red Honda Civic on westbound Route 76 in Upper Merion after observing the vehicle had tint obstructing all windows except the windshield, according to the criminal complaint.

Delvalle-Melendez was driving the vehicle and Alvarez-Rodriguez was the passenger, police said. Court documents indicate police determined Delvalle-Melendez had a suspended license.

During the initial encounter, police detected a strong odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle.

“I observed the passenger’s hands and legs were shaking. There was a black bag on the passenger’s lap,” state police Trooper Joseph Gilbert wrote in the arrest affidavit.

Delvalle-Melendez was hesitant to get out of the vehicle, claimed he was on his way to Philadelphia to visit his girlfriend, couldn’t say how long he knew Alvarez-Rodriguez, produced a medical marijuana card and a small amount of marijuana that was in a sandwich bag in his pants pocket, according to court documents.

When police questioned Alvarez-Rodriguez he could not say how long he knew Delvalle-Melendez and police observed that the black bag that had been on his lap had been moved and tucked under the passenger seat.

After DelValle-Melendez consented to a search of the vehicle, police uncovered that the black bag under the passenger’s seat was empty but police suspected the men were hiding illegal narcotics, court documents indicate.

When police began to pat down Alvarez-Rodriguez they uncovered a large square package hidden in his pants. Alvarez-Rodriguez disobeyed police commands, pulled away from the trooper, tried to escape his grasp and had to be forced to the ground during the search, court documents indicate.

The search of Alvarez-Rodriguez uncovered a sandwich bag that contained a large amount of white powder, according to the arrest affidavit.

“Alvarez-Rodriguez immediately began stating that Delvalle-Melendez threw it on his lap when they were pulled over,” Gilbert alleged. “The white powder was field tested as fentanyl. Its approximate weight was 200 grams.”

Police said a young child also was found sleeping under a coat in the back seat of the vehicle and the child was not restrained in a child safety seat.


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