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The original item was published from 7/6/2016 8:42:57 AM to 10/9/2016 12:00:01 AM.

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District Attorney

Posted on: July 6, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Residents' Complaints Lead to State Prison for Ephrata Couple Dealing Heroin


An Ephrata couple were sentenced Tuesday to state prison for a drug-trafficking operation that resulted in seizures of heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine.

William Ortiz Jr. and his wife Holly Ortiz each pleaded guilty in Lancaster County Court to felony counts of drug-dealing and conspiracy and related charges, in exchange for state-prison terms.

William Ortiz Jr., 39, will serve 2½ to 10 years.

Holly Ortiz, 30, who has a prior felony drug-dealing conviction, will serve 4 to 10 years.

Each agreed to forfeit all property seized by the Lancaster County Drug Task Force, according to Assistant District Attorney Kevin McGarry, who arranged the plea agreements.

County Judge Margaret Miller accepted the terms and ordered the sentences.

Numerous complaints from citizens prompted an investigation last year.

Search warrants were served in October on two locations – the couple’s apartment on South State Street and a storage unit in Berks County - resulting in seizures of drugs and vehicles.

About 1,250 bags of heroin (37 grams) were seized from the storage unit. Police also recovered quantities of methamphetamine and cocaine. The estimated street value of all the drugs is over $11,000.

Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman said stopping the heroin-dealing operation likely saved lives.

Police also seized $1,067 cash, two vehicles, and various electronics.

The arrests resulted from a three-month investigation of Mr. and Mrs. Ortiz.

Spring Township (Berks County) police and Berks County Detectives also assisted in the investigation.

MEDIA CONTACT: Brett A. Hambright, 717-295-2041;; Twitter: @BrettHambright

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