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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Leaders of Indiana County, PA Drug Organization Charged with Trafficking Crack Cocaine

PITTSBURGH – Seven leaders of a drug trafficking organization distributing crack cocaine and methamphetamine throughout Indiana County were arrested and charged federally with drug trafficking, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

A criminal complaint charges the following defendants with conspiring to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of crack cocaine:

• Jelahn Williams, 25, of Philadelphia, PA;

• Malik Byers, 28, of Philadelphia, PA;

• Ahmed Doumbia, 26, of Indiana, PA;

• Dayton Melton, 22, of Philadelphia, PA;

• Romello Johnson-Holland, 24, of Indiana, PA; and

• Isaiah Daniels-Wheeler, 24, of Elkins Park, PA.

A separate, but related, criminal complaint names Tamir Washington-Jenkins, 23, of Indiana, PA, as the sole defendant. Washington-Jenkins is charged with possession with intent to distribute/distribution of 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.

"Today, we’ve successfully dismantled a large-scale drug trafficking network operating between Philadelphia and Indiana County," said U.S. Attorney Brady. "This required a major, coordinated effort to arrest those responsible for trafficking these toxic substances throughout our communities. Indiana District Attorney Bob Manzi and I remain committed to combatting the drug threat – and the violence associated with it – and prosecuting those who prey on our vulnerable citizens."

"The ongoing partnerships between local, state and federal law enforcement are incredibly important when investigating, prosecuting and punishing drug dealers," said Indiana County District Attorney Bob Manzi. "My office is proud to partner with the men and women of law enforcement to make today’s arrests possible. The bottom line is that Indiana County is safer now than it was just twelve hours ago because these drug dealers are locked up. This should send a clear message to drug dealers thinking about setting up shop in Indiana County: get out!"

According to the Criminal Complaint, the investigation in this case has revealed that from January 7, 2020 to April 18, 2020, the defendants have been engaged in a conspiracy to transport crack cocaine from the greater Philadelphia area for distribution in Indiana County, Pennsylvania and the surrounding region. The investigation has shown that, during the time period alleged in this Complaint, Williams, Byers, and/or Doumbia have made multiple trips from Indiana, Pennsylvania to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where they have obtained large quantities of crack cocaine from/with Melton and/or Daniels-Wheeler and/or others, brought the crack cocaine back to "trap locations" in Indiana, including, frequently, an apartment rented by Johnson-Holland, and distributed the crack cocaine in Indiana to drug purchasers and street-level dealers.

As part of this investigation, investigators have conducted court-authorized Title III interceptions of wire and electronic communications occurring over several telephones known to be used by members of this conspiracy. During the periods of interception, investigators have intercepted communications between the defendants related to the manufacture and/or distribution of crack cocaine and other controlled substances. The Criminal Complaint contains samples of calls between the defendants.

The Criminal Complaint filed against Tamir Washington-Jenkins alleges that on October 10, 2019, members of the Southwest Pennsylvania Safe Streets Task Force completed a controlled buy of methamphetamine from Washington-Jenkins. Washington-Jenkins provided the suspected methamphetamine to a confidential source/undercover officer in exchange for $1,600 in controlled funds. Lab testing confirmed that the substance provided by Washington-Jenkins contained methamphetamine and weighed 54.99 grams.

"Drugs and the violence, which often underpins illicit drug trafficking, has a devastating effect on our communities." said FBI Pittsburgh Acting Special Agent in Charge Eugene Kowel. "The FBI will not tolerate people bringing these types of dangerous drugs in from other areas to sell in our neighborhoods. The FBI, our Southwest Pennsylvania Safe Streets Task Force, along with our federal, state and local partners, will continue to work together to make sure those responsible are held accountable."

"Even during today’s pandemic, Homeland Security Investigations continues to work to remove violent drug offenders from the streets of Pennsylvania." said Assistant Special Agent in Charge, HSI Pittsburgh, James D. Abbate. "HSI remains committed to working with our local, state and federal partners to keep our communities safe."

For each of the defendants, the law provides for a penalty of not less than five years’ to not more than to 40 years’ imprisonment, a fine of 5,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant(s).

Assistant United States Attorney Arnold P. Bernard, Jr. is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

This case has been investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Homeland Security – Homeland Security Investigations, Indiana County District Attorney’s Drug Task Force, Southwest Pennsylvania Safe Streets Task Force, Indiana Borough Police Department, Pennsylvania State Police, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania assisted in this investigation.

A criminal complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant may not be prosecuted unless, within 30 days, a grand jury has found probable cause to believe that he is guilty of an offense.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Updated May 6, 2020