You are here

Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 17, 2021

25 Indicted for Drug Trafficking in Western PA and Beyond

PITTSBURGH - Twenty-five individuals have been named in two separate, but related, Indictments for trafficking multiple drugs, including heroin, fentanyl, methamphetamine, cocaine and cocaine base, Acting United States Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman announced today. The defendants were arrested today following a year-long investigation into drug trafficking in Mercer and Lawrence Counties and beyond.

“We undertook this investigation with a single goal in mind—to significantly improve public safety,” said Acting U. S. Attorney Kaufman. “People deserve to feel safe in their homes and in their neighborhoods. Removing these drug traffickers from our streets will help to restore quality of life to the law-abiding citizens of Mercer and Lawrence counties.”

“Today’s arrests reflect the continuing effort to rid our communities of dangerous drugs and drug-related violent crime activity,” said FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent in Charge Mike Nordwall. “We remain dedicated to aggressively investigating those who don’t think twice about committing a crime in the community they live and putting others lives at risk. Our communities need to know this is a joint effort and couldn't be done without the help of state, local and federal partners.”

“These defendants stand accused of trafficking multiple potentially deadly street drugs such as fentanyl, heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, and crack cocaine. Their alleged drug-trafficking activities included the distribution of crack cocaine in the vicinity of protected areas such as playgrounds, schools, and public housing facilities” said Jonathan A. Wilson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Philadelphia Field Division. “These indictments reflect the collective efforts of local, state, and federal law enforcement working together to disrupt drug-traffickers that seek to poison and destroy our communities.”

"While 12 Pennsylvanians are dying from opioid overdoses every day, these defendants peddled dozens of kilos of devastating poisons, including heroin and cocaine, into our communities to make a buck," said Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro. "Thanks to this yearlong investigation with our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners, we have been able to take down more than two dozen violent drug traffickers."

The first indictment names the following individuals as defendants:

  • London Pinkins, age 26, of Sharon, Pennsylvania;
  • Jimmy Gadson, age 34, of Sharon, Pennsylvania;
  • Harold Hooten, age 44, of Hermitage, Pennsylvania;
  • Torlando Hopson, age 32, of Farrell, Pennsylvania;
  • Alphonse Johnson, age 39, currently incarcerated;
  • Amanda Karwowski, age 29, of Grove City, Pennsylvania, currently incarcerated;
  • Michael Love, age 43, of Jackson Center, Pennsylvania;
  • Katlyn McGirr, age 29, of Hermitage, Pennsylvania;
  • Kenneth Miller, age 59, of Farrell, Pennsylvania;
  • Nicholas Ostheimer, age 23, of Sharon, Pennsylvania;
  • Eugene Phillips, age 29, of Farrell, Pennsylvania, currently incarcerated;
  • Quinton Pinkins, age 36, of Farrell, Pennsylvania;
  • Joseph Pumphrey, age 62, of Hermitage, Pennsylvania;
  • Courtney Purdy, age 30, of Mercer, Pennsylvania;
  • Jeronte Robinson, age 26, of Hermitage, Pennsylvania;
  • Jammar Shelton, age 42, of Masury, Ohio;
  • James West, age 45, of Brackenridge, Pennsylvania;
  • Khiry Whiteside, age 30, of Farrell, Pennsylvania;
  • Denzel Williams, age 27, of Farrell, Pennsylvania;
  • Jermall Johnson, age 24, of Erie, Pennsylvania;
  • Jackie Bell, age 29, of Columbus, Ohio; and
  • Albert Cummings, age 41, of Cleveland, Ohio.

 

All of the 22 defendants are charged in Count 1 with conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl, 100 grams or more of heroin, 28 grams or more of cocaine base, a quantity of cocaine, and a quantity of methamphetamine from June 2020 to June 2021. Count 2 charges London Pinkins and Phillips with conspiring to launder drug trafficking proceeds from February 2021 to June 2021. Counts 3 (Williams), 17 (Alphonse Johnson), 23 (Karwowski), and 24 (London Pinkins) charge several defendants with possession with intent to distribute and/or distribution of 28 grams or more of cocaine base, a quantity of cocaine, and/or a quantity of methamphetamine.

Counts 4 (Ostheimer), 6-8 (Ostheimer and Gadson), 14 (Cummings), 15 (Gadson), 19-22 (West, Gadson, Shelton, and London Pinkins), and 25-28 (Purdy and Quinton Pinkins) charge several defendants with possession with intent to distribute and/or distribution of a quantity of fentanyl, heroin, cocaine base, and/or cocaine within 1,000 feet of a playground, school, and public housing. Counts 5 (Ostheimer), 9-13 (London Pinkins, Gadson, Bell, McGirr), 16 (Gadson), and 18 (Williams) charge several defendants with possession with intent to distribute and/or distribution of a quantity of fentanyl, heroin, cocaine base, cocaine, and/or methamphetamine.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of at least five years and up to 40 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000,000 for each of the crimes charged in Counts 1, 3, 17, 23, and 24. The law provides for a maximum total sentence for Count 2 of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000 (or twice the value of the property involved in the transaction, whichever is greater).

The law provides for a maximum total sentence for each of Counts 4, 6-8, 14, 15, 19-22, and 25- 28 of at least one year and up to 40 years in prison and a fine of up to $2,000,000. The maximum sentence for Counts 5, 9-13, 16, and 18 is up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1,000,000. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentences imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal histories of the defendants.

The second indictment names the following individuals as defendants:

  • Forrest Gilmore, age 25, of New Castle, Pennsylvania;
  • Melvin Dorsey-Pace, age 28, of New Castle, Pennsylvania; and
  • Rayjzon Sams, 28, age of Farrell, Pennsylvania.

 

The seven-count Indictment charges the defendants in Count 1 with conspiring to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base and a quantity of cocaine from June 2020 to June 2021. Counts 2 (Gilmore), 4 (Dorsey-Pace), 5 (Sams), and 7 (Sams) charge possession with intent to distribute and distribution of a quantity of cocaine base within 1,000 feet of a playground, school, and public housing. Count 3 charges Gilmore with possessing with intent to distribute and distribution of 28 grams or more of cocaine base on September 17, 2020. Count 6 charges Sams with possessing with intent to distribute and distribution of a quantity of cocaine on April 18, 2021.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of at least five years and up to 40 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000,000 for each of the crimes charged in Counts 1 and 3 of the Indictment. The law provides for a maximum total sentence for each of Counts 2, 4, 5, and 7 of at least one year and up to 40 years in prison and a fine of up to $2,000,000. The law provides for a maximum total sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1,000,000 for the crime charged in Count 6 of the Indictment. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentences imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal histories of the defendants.

Assistant United States Attorney Craig W. Haller is prosecuting this case on behalf of the United States.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Narcotics Investigations led the investigation. The Pennsylvania State Police, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Lawrence County Drug Task Force, the Mercer County Drug Task Force, the New Castle Police Department, the Sharon Police Department, the Hermitage Police Department, and the Farrell Police Department also assisted in the investigation resulting in the return of the Indictments in this case.

This prosecution is a result of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles high-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten communities throughout the United States. OCDETF uses a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. 

Updated June 17, 2021