Members Of Chester Drug Trafficking Organization Convicted
PHILADELPHIA – A federal jury, today, returned guilty verdicts against members of a violent drug trafficking gang that operated in and around Chester, PA. The jury found Donald Womack, Sr., Paris Church, Ronell Whitehead, Breon Burton, Spencer Payne, guilty of operating a drug market within the Rose and Upland neighborhood on the east side of Chester City. Womack, Church, Whitehead, Burton, and Payne were convicted of conspiracy. All of the defendants face a maximum possible sentence of life in prison; Womack faces a mandatory term of life in prison; the remaining defendants, except Payne, face a mandatory term of 20 years in prison; Payne faces a mandatory term of 10 years in prison. Sentencing hearings have not yet been scheduled.
Among the charges that these defendants and their 17 co-defendants were convicted of: distributing cocaine, crack cocaine, and heroin to customers in their territory and elsewhere between August of 2012 and September of 2014; maintaining a drug house; possessing firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes; and distributing cocaine, crack and heroin within 1,000 feet of area schools and a playground. Burton was previously convicted of being a felon in possession of firearms and use of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking. One of the group’s largest alleged cocaine and heroin suppliers, Paris Church, was convicted of conspiracy to distribute 280 or more of cocaine base (“crack”), 500 grams or more of cocaine, and 100 or more grams of heroin for re-distribution. The leader of the drug trafficking group, William Dorsey, and 16 other co-defendants pleaded guilty to their roles in the organization.
The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Chester Police Department, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the Delaware County Office of the District Attorney’s Criminal Investigation Division. Also providing substantial manpower and assistance in the arrests were agents from the U.S. Marshals Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Ashley K. Lunkenheimer, A. Nicole Phillips, and Faithe Moore Taylor.