Last updated: February 19. 2013 6:34PM - 430 Views

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WILKES-BARRE – A man charged in Operation Square Deal that targeted drug pushers on Public Square was arraigned Wednesday.


Darrin Battle, 26, of North Sherman Street, Wilkes-Barre, was captured by city police investigating an incident on South Welles Street early Wednesday morning.


A records check showed that an arrest warrant was issued for Battle on Sept. 4 charging him with exchanging heroin for money on Public Square on July 24.


Battle was arraigned on two counts of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and unrelated charges of terroristic threats and harassment. He was jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $20,000 bail.


Battle was one of 32 people city police charged in September after a five-month investigation.


Patrol officers put together the undercover probe targeting alleged drug peddlers who loitered in the area of East Market Street and Public Square.


Mayor Tom Leighton said at the time that his office was flooded with complaints about the loiterers.


Battle is accused of selling heroin in an area on Public Square that is within a school zone. Wilkes-Barre Area's Coughlin High School is less than 1,000 feet from East Market Street and Public Square, officials said.


A person convicted of selling illegal drugs in a school zone faces at least a two-year state prison sentence, according to the state's crimes code.


It's not the first time Battle has been jailed.


Luzerne County Court records say Battle was sentenced in July 2007 to state prison on charges he fired a gun inside a residence, injuring a woman, and possessed an illegal drug.


He was released from prison in March 2010.

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