HARRISBURG – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Torey White, age 32, of Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, was found guilty yesterday on three counts of murdering three individuals after a three-week trial before United States District Court Judge Christopher C. Conner.
According to United States Attorney Gerard M. Karam, White’s conviction was the result of an almost seven-year investigation into murders of three individuals that occurred on June 25, 2016, on a property along Welsh Run Road in Mercersburg, Franklin County. When Pennsylvania State Police officers were called to the crime scene, they found the bodies of Wendy Ann Chaney, 39, Hagerstown, Md, Brandon Cole, 47, Fayetteville, PA, and Phillip Matthew Jackson, 36, Mercersburg, PA, in a barn on victim Jackson’s property. All were shot. The three victims had their hands zipped-tied behind their backs and had been set on fire. Jackson and Cole were shot once in the head. Chaney was shot twice, once in the back and once in the neck. Wendy Chaney and Brandon Cole were already dead when the police responded to the scene. Phillip Jackson was transported to York Hospital where he died shortly after arrival.
The evidence presented at trial established that Wendy Chaney was in a relationship with Torey White and a coconspirator and had been previously assisting both with their drug distribution operations. White and co-coconspirator Kevin Coles learned that Chaney was cooperating with federal authorities and contracted for her to be murdered. Co-defendants Jerell Adgebesan and Kenyatta Corbett recruited members of a Baltimore based gang known as the Black Guerilla Family and others from Baltimore to travel to the Jackson property to kill Wendy Chaney. The killers were promised that they could take as payment $20,000 that was to be in a safe in the barn and any drugs and firearms that they could locate on the Jackson property. Once there, the killers encountered not only Wendy Chaney but also Brandon Cole and Phillip Jackson. Chaney was killed to protect the drug trafficking activities of Coles, and his co-conspirators. Jackson and Cole were murdered to prevent them from being witnesses to the crimes of violence that were committed at the Jackson property. The killers never found any money on the property but stole some drugs and firearms.
The following individuals were charged along with White as a result of the investigation:
Joshua Davis, age 30, previously pled guilty to participating in the conspiracy to locate and kill an individual believed to be cooperating with federal authorities in the investigation of the triple murders. Davis was sentenced to serve 100 months’ imprisonment.
White faces three mandatory life sentences, one for each count of conviction. Each count dealt with a separate victim.
The following federal, state and local law enforcement agencies participated in the investigation: Drug Enforcement Administration Harrisburg Resident Office; Pennsylvania State Police, Chambersburg; Pennsylvania State Police, Troop H; Franklin County Drug Task Force; Franklin County Adult Probation; Pennsylvania State Probation and Parole; Hagerstown Police Department, Criminal Investigation Division; Drug Enforcement Administration, Hagerstown Resident Office; Washington County Narcotics Task Force; Drug Enforcement Administration, Baltimore District Office, Strike Force Group 1; Maryland State Police Homicide Unit; Baltimore Police Department Narcotics, Fugitive And Homicide Units; Baltimore County Police Department Narcotics and Gang Unit; Federal Bureau of Investigation Evidence Management Unit, Quantico, VA; US Marshal’s Service Harrisburg, PA and Phoenix, AZ; Franklin County District Attorney’s Office; United States Attorney’s Office, District Of Maryland; and the Washington County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Judy Fernandez, Manager of Analytic Services at LexisNexis Special Services, Inc., (LNSSI) provided expert assistance to investigators and the prosecutors in the areas of analysis, support, and the rendering of her expert opinion.
Assistant United States Attorney William A. Behe, Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, and Senior Litigation Counsel Michael Consiglio prosecuted the case.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.
This prosecution is also part of an extensive investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) identified as “Retribution for Welsh Run.” OCDETF is a joint federal, state, and local cooperative approach to combat drug trafficking and is the nation’s primary tool for disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations, targeting national and regional level drug trafficking organizations and coordinating the necessary law enforcement entities and resources to disrupt or dismantle the targeted criminal organization and seize their assets.
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