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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 12, 2021

31 Indicted in Cross-State Drug Trafficking Ring

JOHNSTOWN, PA – Thirty-one people – 29 residents of Cambria, Indiana, Allegheny, Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties in Pennsylvania, one resident of Long Beach, California, and one resident of Middletown, Delaware, - have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Johnstown on a charge of violating federal narcotics laws, Acting United States Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman announced today.

The one-count Indictment, returned on August 10 and unsealed today, named:
Mikal Davis, 44, of Philadelphia, PA;
Darren Alston, 29, of Johnstown, PA;
Anthony Andrews, 40, of Johnstown, PA;
Debra Bailey, 58, of Johnstown, PA;
Sandra Box, 55, of Johnstown, PA;
Jonathan Brunson, 50, of Johnstown, PA;
Hector Concepcion, 32, Johnstown, PA;
Willette Cooper, 39, of Johnstown, PA;
James Dotson, 43, of Johnstown, PA;
Joshua Edmonds, 28, of Johnstown, PA;
Azheem Ellis, 45, of Johnstown, PA;
Ruby Gil, 30, of Indiana, PA;
Shawn Howard, 47, of Johnstown, PA;
Kevin Johnson, 35, of Johnstown, PA;
Rashim Kennedy-Williams, 41, of Philadelphia, PA;
Perry King, 45, of Johnstown, PA;
Amber Lingafelt, 38, of Johnstown, PA;
Dwight Logan, 42, of Johnstown, PA;
Jeffrey Mann, 43, of Philadelphia, PA;
George Mazey, 50, of Johnstown, PA;
Timothy Mollett, 40, of Turtle Creek, PA;
Mary Lou Nelson, 58, of Johnstown, PA;
James Pearcy, 57, of Philadelphia, PA;
Gina Petrucci, 51, of Conshohocken, PA;
Derrick Polk, 58, of Long Beach, CA;
Paul Smith, 43, of Middletown, DE;
Rodney Smith, 65, of Johnstown, PA;
Joseph Thornton, 31, of Johnstown, PA;
Amanda Weidner, 37, of Johnstown, PA;
Jessica Wilson, 35, of Johnstown, PA; and
Blake Young, 32, of Johnstown, PA.

The Indictment charges all defendants with conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of heroin, five kilograms or more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine, 280 grams or more of a mixture and substance continuing a detectable amount of cocaine base, in the form commonly known as crack, 400 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of fentanyl, 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, and 500 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine, from April 2019 to July 2021, in the Western District of Pennsylvania.

“Through this indictment, we have dismantled a major drug trafficking organization operating in Johnstown and beyond,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Kaufman. “Restoring safe and drug-free neighborhoods for the law-abiding citizens in our communities remains our singular goal. Today we took another important step in that effort.”

“The suspects arrested today thought they could come into a small community like Johnstown, set up shop and then leave without a trace,” said FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent in Charge Mike Nordwall. “The FBI’s Southwest Pennsylvania Safe Streets Task Force is combining all our strengths to tackle the drug problem as a team. Groups that have been a menace for years are being stopped so our neighborhoods can reclaim their identities.”

“Drugs ruin families, communities and lives. The defendants preyed on drug addicts in Pennsylvania for their own greed without any remorse for the lives they destroyed,” said David Abbate, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations – Pittsburgh. “Today's arrests send a resounding message that HSI Special Agents are committed to working with our law enforcement partners to aggressively uncover, dismantle and disrupt criminal organizations who conspire to distribute illicit drugs.”

“Drug trafficking is a dangerous and violent enterprise,” said Attorney General Shapiro. “These traffickers were in possession of multiple deadly firearms while peddling more than 150,000 doses of fentanyl/heroin and other drugs for a profit. Thanks to the collaborative work with our local and federal law enforcement partners, 37 arrests warrants were issued to take down this drug trafficking operation. My office will continue to work with our partners to shut down these organizations -- wherever they’re found.”

Cambria District Attorney Greg Neugebauer added, “This is a perfect example of the critical partnership between federal, state, and local law enforcement. The collaborative work between agencies helps protect the citizens of Cambria County, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the United States as a whole. I thank the men and women who worked tirelessly and effectively used resources to orchestrate this operation that holds individuals who pollute our streets with drugs accountable. We will continue to fight every day to make our community the safest possible place to live, work and play. I am tremendously proud of this effort and look forward to seeing the dividends that are paid for our area.”

“Each and every day, members of our county are negatively impacted by the scourge of narcotics trafficking,” said Indiana County District Attorney Robert Manzi. “Crimes such as thefts, DUIs, assaults and even murder are committed for the sole purpose of obtaining money to buy more drugs. Cooperative efforts between local, state and federal law enforcement that focus our collective efforts on stopping large scale drug trafficking operations help everyone in our community. My office is committed to working with our partner agencies to stop these drug trafficking operations. We thank Acting U.S. Attorney Steve Kaufman, Cambria County District Attorney Greg Neugebauer, members of the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, ATF, Pennsylvania State Police, Indiana Borough Police and the Indiana County Drug Task Force for working together to make our county safer.”

The statue calls for a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years of incarceration. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendants.

Assistant United States Attorney Maureen Sheehan-Balchon is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

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.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Laurel Highlands Resident Agency and Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation leading to the Indictment in this case. Additional agencies participating in this investigation include the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, the United States Postal Inspection Service, Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General, Pennsylvania State Police, Cambria County District Attorney’s Office, Indiana County District Attorney’s Office, Cambria County Sheriff’s Office, Cambria Township Police Department, Indiana Borough Police Department, Johnstown Police Department, Upper Yoder Township Police Department, Richland Police Department, Ferndale Police Department and other local law enforcement agencies.

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

 

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Updated August 12, 2021