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Berks County investigators apprehend one of five suspects still at large from 'Operation Caribbean Snowfall'

The large-scale drug trafficking investigation led to charges against 27 suspects, including these five who remain at large, authorities say.
Credit: Berks County District Attorney's Office
Operation Caribbean Snowfall suspects (left to right) Juan Ortiz, Arnaldo Rodriguez-Rosario, Miguel Cruz-Ortiz, Stephen Santiago, and Roberto Cruz-Oritz.

READING, Pa. — Update, Feb. 1: One of the five suspects was apprehended on Tuesday, Jan. 31 by members of the Berks County Sheriff Office's Warrants Division and the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force, the Berks County District Attorney's Office announced.

Arnaldo Rodriguez-Rosario, 30, of Reading, was taken into custody on the 600 block of South 18 1/2 Street, according to the DA's Office.

The four other suspects sought by authorities remain at large, the DA's Office said.


Authorities in Berks County are attempting to locate five suspects charged with drug trafficking offenses as part of "Operation Caribbean Snowfall," an undercover operation designed to break up a large-scale drug distribution organization in Berks, Montgomery and surrounding counties.

The men are five of 27 suspects facing charges in the operation. They are accused of committing offenses involving violations of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code and the Pennsylvania Controlled Substance Act, delivery of controlled substances which included bulk amounts of heroin, fentanyl and cocaine, dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity, corrupt organization and criminal use of communication facility, according to the Berks County District Attorney's Office.

Investigators are attempting to locate:

  • Juan Ortiz, 38, of Exeter: Described as 5-foot-9, 215 pounds, with black and gray hair, brown eyes and medium complexion
  • Arnaldo Rodriguez-Rosario, 30, of Reading: 5-foot-6, 150 pounds, black hair, brown eyes, medium complexion
  • Miguel Cruz-Ortiz, 35, of Reading: 5-foot-9, 210 pounds, black hair, brown eyes, medium complexion
  • Stephen Santiago, 39, of Reading: 5-foot-11, 215 pounds, black hair, brown eyes, medium complexion
  • Roberto Cruz-Rodriguez, 52, of Reading: 5-foot-6, 200 pounds, gray/balding hair, brown eyes, medium complexion

According to authorities in Berks County:

In July 2022, detectives from the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office identified a drug dealer operating in Norristown who was distributing cocaine. 

Detectives learned that the Norristown drug dealer was being supplied with bulk quantities of the illegal drug by an organization with ties to Reading. 

Based on this information, Montgomery County Detectives teamed up with Berks County Detectives to initiate an investigation with the goal of identifying the method and means of this organization and attempt to identify the ultimate source or sources of supply. 

During this phase of the investigation, it became apparent that this organization may have been tied to a United States Postal Service case where they were investigating parcels of cocaine and fentanyl being shipped via United States Postal Service priority express mail, originating in Mexico to Puerto Rico and destined to Reading.

An analysis of intelligence and data suggested that the best course of action to neutralize this criminal enterprise would be non-consensual interception of certain member’s communications. 

Additionally, because of the scope of the investigation, detectives from Berks, Bucks, Chester and Montgomery Counties teamed up with the City of Reading Police Department, the Pennsylvania State Police, Agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration, United States Postal Service Inspectors, United States Homeland Security Investigations and the Liberty Mid-Atlantic HIDTA. 

The combined law enforcement team utilized all investigative means and tools at their disposal.

Over the course of the investigation, two undercover officers infiltrated this organization and purchased bulk quantities of cocaine and fentanyl. 

Additionally, numerous parcels destined for residences in Reading were interdicted and seized by USPS Inspectors. These parcels were searched, and numerous kilograms of cocaine and fentanyl were discovered and seized.

On November 3 and 4, 2022, search warrants were obtained and served at the following locations:

  1. 322 N. 12th St., Reading
  2. 25 Hancock Blvd. 7th St., Reading
  3. 640 S. 7th St., Reading
  4. 925 Culvert St., Reading
  5. 1605 Perkiomen Ave., Reading
  6. 1327 Ave. C, Reading
  7. 1323 Good St., Reading
  8. 810A N. 10th St., Reading
  9. 1220 N. 9th St., Reading
  10. 416 Arch St., Norristown
  11.  566 S. Duke St., Lancaster

As a result of this investigation, the following summary of items of evidence were recovered and seized:

  • 27.5 kilograms of cocaine (bulk value $770,000, potential street value of $2.7 million)
  • 5.5 kilograms of fentanyl (bulk value $203,500, potential street value of $1.6 million)
  • Four hydraulic floor jacks, steel plates, steel H frame for the pressing of kilos of cocaine and heroin/fentanyl
  • Six handguns
  • Four "Drum Style” gun magazines
  • Over 120 rounds ammunition
  • Over $60,000 U.S. currency believed to be the proceeds of the sales of controlled substances
  • 40 cellular phones
  • Assorted packaging material, processing equipment and a large amount of cutting agents all related to the packaging and processing of heroin and cocaine.

Please contact the Berks County District Attorney’s Detectives Office at 610-478-7171 or Crime Alert Berks County at 1-877-373-9913 if you have any information regarding the whereabouts of the listed individuals.

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