MAHANOY CITY - A borough man was jailed early Saturday after being arrested by Mahanoy City police for having almost 800 packets of heroin worth $16,000, plus cash and other drugs.

John M. Wronski III, 27, of 425 E. Mahanoy Ave., was charged by Patrolman Thomas Rentschler and Cpl. Michael Dissinger with three felony counts of possession with intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance, three misdemeanor counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance and a misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

He was arraigned by on-call Magisterial District Judge Stephen J. Bayer, Tamaqua, and committed to Schuylkill County Prison, unable to post $50,000 straight cash bail.

Rentschler said the events leading up to the arrest began about 9 p.m. Friday when he and Dissinger conducted an undercover drug buy from a home in the 1000 block of East Mahanoy Avenue.

An informant went to the home and purchased a bag of heroin. Rentschler said officers subsequently went to the home and told a man there that heroin was just purchased from him.

The man, Rentschler said, reported having additional heroin in an upstairs room and took officers there where they found the marked money used for the original purchase, three additional bags of heroin and more cash.

The man told officers he was also holding a lock box that belonged to Wronski, and that Wronski was paying him $100 a week to hold the box, Rentschler said. The man said he believed the box contained drugs and that Wronski had the key. The man then called Wronski and said he needed three bundles of heroin; he was told to come to Wronski's house and pick it up.

Rentschler said the man, who was first searched, entered Wronski's home and came out with three bundles of drugs that field-tested positive for heroin.

When Wronski stepped out of the home, he was arrested.

Asked if he had additional drugs in the house, Wronski said he did, and invited officers inside. They said in plain view was a bag of suspected marijuana and a stack of cash totaling $612.

Wronski then handed Dissinger a cigarette box containing several additional packets of heroin, Rentschler said.

Back at the police station, Rentschler said Wronski was interviewed and said he was selling the heroin to get money to move out of Mahanoy City and also was using some of the drugs for his personal use.

Wronski then handed officers the key for the lock box that was found earlier and admitted owning the box and the drugs and paraphernalia inside.

With Wronski's permission, Rentschler said officers opened the box and found 790 packets of heroin, several bags of suspected marijuana, 21 Alprazolam pills, several marijuana blunts and packaging materials.