Police: Accused drug dealer had pipe bomb

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A man accused of selling suspected crystal methamphetamine while living in West Hazleton this spring was recently arraigned on drug charges, court papers say.

Arrest papers filed against Adam R. Kudel, 30, of Mahanoy City state that, along with drugs and cash, police seized a pipe bomb from the home he was living in on Fawn Drive during the investigation handled by the Pennsylvania State Police Drug Law Enforcement Division Northeast Strike Force.

Troopers filed charges for possession of a controlled substance, possession with intent to deliver, possessing weapons of mass destruction and criminal use of a communication facility, all felonies, against him.

He was also charged with misdemeanors for use or possession of drug paraphernalia and five counts of reckless endangerment. The reckless endangerment charges were filed against him because of the danger the pipe bomb presented while troopers searched his home, court papers state.

Kudel was initially taken to jail Fridayafter he immediately failed to post 10 percent of $40,000 bail set by Magisterial District Judge Ferris Webby Sr., Wright Twp., during his arraignment. However, court records show he did post bail Monday.

Arrest papers say troopers watched as he sold drugs three times in March while under investigation. Then, on March 29, Kudel left the home with another man inside a vehicle and got onto Interstate 81 south. There, troopers stopped the car for a traffic violation and a drug sniffing K9 alerted to a scent inside the vehicle, arrest papers state.

Troopers said they searched the car, finding a vacuum-sealed bag of suspected crystal methamphetamine in the trunk that weighed 4.23 ounces, along with a wad of cash Kudel had that totaled $4,020.

Kudel told police he bought 4.5 pounds of crystal methamphetamine elsewhere for $19,000 and returned to Hazleton and then sold the product, arrest papers state.

A search of his home by the Northeast Strike Force turned up 17 pieces of evidence troopers seized, including a bullet-resistant vest and about 5 ounces of suspected crystal methamphetamine. They also found suspected cocaine and marijuana, along with packaging material and a scale.

Guns were recovered along with a roughly 6-inch long bomb made of PVC pipe. The department’s Hazardous Device and Explosive Section said upon ignition from a fuse, the bomb would produce hot rapidly expanding gasses that could project PVC fragments at high velocities in all directions.

“This type of device has potential to cause property damage and cause injury or death to persons near the explosion,” court papers state.

The home is in a residential area near Valmont Industrial Park and the Valmont Plaza, a shopping center, where traffic is heavy at times.

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