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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania

Thursday, March 3, 2016

19 Members Of Heroin Trafficking Conspiracy Indicted

WILLIAMSPORT – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that a federal grand jury in Williamsport returned a 13-count superseding indictment on February 11, 2016 charging 19 individuals with conspiracy to distribute heroin, crack cocaine, and the opiate buprenorphine, known as Suboxone.  The indictment was unsealed today following the arrests of the defendants.

According to U.S. Attorney Peter Smith, the indictment alleges that the following men and women conspired to distribute heroin, crack cocaine, and buprenorphine to a network of drug users and sellers along the Interstate 80 corridor between Bloomsburg and Williamsport from August 14, 2014 through the date of the indictment:


Names                         Age                 Town/State

Kalif English                 27                    Philadelphia, PA

Corey Hughes              26                    Williamsport, PA

Sharonda Walker         24                    Upper Darby, PA

Troy Brown                  39                     Yeadon, PA

Shawn Hayman           18                     Williamsport, PA

Donald Avery               21                     Philadelphia, PA

Paris Watkins, Jr.         24                     Philadelphia, PA

Tayza Brown                18                     Williamsport, PA

Naquann Lee               19                     Williamsport, PA

Taiquan Falana            20                     Philadelphia, PA

Keith Harding               35                     Philadelphia, PA

Shawn Gambrell           27                    Philadelphia, PA

Omar Brown                 32                    Philadelphia, PA

Timothy Moses             34                    Philadelphia, PA

Marissa Copen             25                    Linden, PA

Alkeisha Edwards        20                    Philadelphia, PA

Chantel McFarlin         32                    Philadelphia, PA

Lamont Johnson          23                    Philadelphia, PA

Randy Thompson        34                    Philadelphia, PA

In addition to the conspiracy charge, the indictment also charges that the defendants distributed and possessed with intent to distribute multiple bags of heroin and crack cocaine and Suboxone, or buprenorphine, on various dates during the period of the conspiracy.  The indictment also charges Troy Brown with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

According to the indictment, during the period from August 2014 to the present, the conspirators obtained heroin and other controlled substances in Philadelphia and transported the drugs to the Bloomsburg and Williamsport areas for distribution and sale.  The indictment alleges that they utilized rental vehicles and motel rooms to facilitate the distribution of heroin and that they conducted drug trafficking activities using cell phones.  In addition, according to the indictment, the conspirators bought and exchanged firearms for heroin and other controlled substances.  In the forfeiture allegation, the indictment identifies cash, firearms, and a property at 810 Rhodes Alley in Williamsport that are subject to forfeiture as criminal proceeds and means of facilitating the drug distribution and conspiracy charges.

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with the assistance of the Pennsylvania State Police, the Old Lycoming Police Department, the Williamsport Bureau of Police, the Lycoming, Northumberland-Montour and Columbia County Drug Task Forces, and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney George J. Rocktashel has been assigned to the prosecution of this matter.

This case was brought as part of a district wide initiative to combat the nationwide epidemic regarding the use and distribution of heroin.  Led by the United States Attorney’s Office, the heroin initiative targets heroin traffickers operating in the Middle District of Pennsylvania and is part of a coordinated effort among federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

Indictments are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the sentencing judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

The maximum penalty under federal law is imprisonment for life, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the sentencing judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant's educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.


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Drug Trafficking
Updated March 3, 2016