STROUDSBURG, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) - Investigators are doing all they can to fight the drug epidemic, which has seeped into small communities and claims lives every day. Drug raids have become common, although oftentimes the public doesn't know when they go down.
Eyewitness News reporter Brianna Strunk tagged along with police Friday to show us an up-close look at how busts work.
It's 5:30 a.m., and while most people are sleeping, officers are gearing up to take down a drug dealer.
"We're looking for narcotics, drugs, specifically heroin," says Detective Kim Lippincott, Monroe County District Attorney's Office.
Stroud Area Regional Police and Monroe County's Drug Task Force have been doing surveillance on a house on North Fifth Street in Stroudsburg, It's an unsuspecting drug haven tucked between a flower shop and radio station.
"We hit the house at 6 a.m. The element of the surprise, we're hoping that they're sleeping so we catch them off guard," Detective Lippincott explains.
After a practice run at headquarters, it's time for the real deal. But first police put on respirators, in case there's particles of heroin or fentanyl in the air.
"You never know what a situation is going to be," Detective Lippincott adds.
The target inside has no idea a convoy of police cars is approaching. With guns drawn, some officers set a perimeter while the others make their move.
Inside, police slap cuffs on suspected heroin dealer Jason Castro. They also find three others, including a pregnant woman.
"[We] put the pieces together from there. Find all the evidence inside the house, interview all the people inside the house," Detective Lippincott says.
Detectives say the drug epidemic isn't a hidden problem. The house stands right near the heart of downtown Stroudsburg.
"Drug deals are happening everywhere," Detective Lippincott explains.
Police believe Jason Castro sells heroin, possibly laced with fentanyl, from the house. During the raid, investigators seized fourteen grams of heroin and other drug paraphernalia.
Castro was arraigned Friday morning and is locked up on $75,000 dollars bail.
There's no word whether the other three people will be charged.