WILKES-BARRE TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Fear and confusion. Families woke up to a federal raid in Wilkes-Barre Township.
Neighbors say they never imagined this could happen on their block.
“I saw a van sitting there, didn’t know why…And then all these other cars kept coming and coming and coming,” a neighbor named Shelly said.
Around 6:30 Thursday morning, neighbors saw federal agents rush into the apartment at 148 Nicholson Street in Wilkes-Barre Township. Shelly says she was on her porch when she saw at least 10 unmarked vehicles and one police car surround the duplex across the street from her home.
“There was some undercovers, a lot of undercover and then they got out with their vests on and then I knew it was a raid,” Shelly said.
An ATF spokesperson confirmed this was an ATF enforcement operation but they couldn’t go into detail because it’s an ongoing investigation. ATF is the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. They deal with criminal organizations, illegal use and trafficking of firearms, illegal explosives, arson and bombings, acts of terrorism and illegal diversion of alcohol and tobacco.
Multiple neighbors, including Shelly, say they watched agents come out of the apartment carrying paper bags. Shelly says she was worried, and afraid to let her daughter walk to her bus stop.
“It’s scary because you don’t know what people are going to do,” Shelly said.
Shelly says the tenants just moved into the duplex this summer. One neighbor told Eyewitness News off camera there were some complaints about loud music and a strong smell of marijuana coming from the apartment, but neighbors don’t know much about the people who live there.
“People are usually nice, they say hi…you know? You’d never suspect it. Never,” Shelly said.
The raid lasted more than two hours. Neighbors say they didn’t see anyone being taken into custody but Eyewitness News will update you as we learn more about this developing story.