Flood City Smackdown: 33 Accused in $2.7 Million Heroin Ring That Distributed Drugs in Region

4-22-16-EvidenceHARRISBURG, Pa. – Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane’s office today announced criminal charges have been filed against 33 individuals in connection with a major heroin trafficking organization based in Johnstown, Cambria County.

The criminal charges were recommended by a statewide investigating grand jury, which identified Curtis Harper, a Pittsburgh resident, as the head of the organization.

Investigators determined Harper and his dealers were responsible for dealing more than 9,100 bricks of heroin during a 13-month period. The heroin has a street value of roughly $2.7 million.

“This was a case where heroin was being sold in public housing complexes where many children live,” Attorney General Kane said. “The work of our agents and law enforcement partners will have a substantial impact on the communities where these drugs were being sold.”

The investigation, coined “Operation Flood City Smackdown,” was a joint effort between the Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Narcotics Investigation, the FBI, members of the Cambria County Drug Task Force and other local police departments.

In addition to Cambria County, Harper and his co-conspirators allegedly distributed heroin in Allegheny, Indiana, Somerset, Blair and Huntingdon counties. The majority of those charged in connection with the case were being sought today on active arrest warrants. They were being sought in all of the above counties, as well as Erie County and Buffalo, N.Y.

During the course of the investigation, investigators obtained court-approved wiretaps on telephones belonging to Harper. The grand jury found that Harper purchased large quantities of heroin in the Pittsburgh area. The heroin was then transported to the Johnstown area by couriers, some of whom were addicted to heroin, according to a grand jury presentment.

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The heroin was sold in Johnstown and the surrounding areas between February 2015 and March of this year, the grand jury found. It is alleged that Harper would position his dealers at a specific residence, supply them with bricks of heroin and then direct buyers to the residence by telephone. Harper’s mother and the mother of his child also have been criminally charged in connection with his alleged drug organization.

Heroin was sold predominantly in the Solomon Homes, one of Johnstown’s four low income housing complexes, investigators reported. Also, during the period in which the wiretaps were active, Harper allegedly resupplied his organization with heroin nine times. He sold approximately 25 bricks per day, with each brick containing 50 bags of heroin. By charging between $200 and $300 per brick, Harper earned between $150,000 and $225,000 per month, investigators stated.

Investigators also used confidential informants and arranged numerous controlled purchases of heroin during the investigation. An undercover agent also purchased a brick of heroin from one of Harper’s alleged co-conspirators after being directed to the meeting location by Harper, according to the grand jury.

Harper and several others were recently taken into custody as investigators executed multiple search warrants in Johnstown and Pittsburgh. The searches resulted in the seizure of five handguns (two of which were reported stolen), approximately $60,000 in cash, 133 bricks of heroin valued at approximately $46,500, roughly 21 grams of raw heroin, cutting agents, two money counters and drug paraphernalia. Four vehicles, including a 2009 Mercedes Benz and a 2010 Acura, also were seized during the investigation.

Attorney General Kane stressed this investigation has had a positive impact on Cambria County, which has seen a significant number of drug overdose deaths in recent years. These deaths in many cases have been the result of heroin overdoses, according to investigators.

Attorney General Kane also thanked the following agencies for their work on the investigation: FBI Safe Streets Task Force, Cambria County District Attorney’s Office, Cambria County Drug Task Force, Johnstown City Police Department, Richland Township Police Department, Cambria Township Police Department, Cambria County Sheriff’s Department, West Hills Police Department, Stonycreek Township Police Department, Portage Borough Police Department, Pennsylvania State Police, City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, Somerset County District Attorney, Somerset County Drug Task Force, Windber Police Department, Ligonier Police Department, Berlin Police Department, State College Police Department, Patton Township Police Department, Ferguson Township Police Department, Altoona Police Department and Blair County Drug Task Force.

The defendants charged in this case will be prosecuted by Senior Deputy Attorney General Patrick Leonard of the Office of Attorney General’s Drug Strike Force Section.

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Below is a list of the defendants, their last known addresses and the charges they face:

Curtis Harper, 41, 1747 Crestline St., Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, is charged with one count each of criminal conspiracy, possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance, criminal use of a communication facility and dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity. Other charges include two counts each of corrupt organizations, receiving stolen property and persons not to possess a firearm, as well as 49 counts of delivery of a controlled substance (heroin).

Isaiah Gibbs, 23, 252 Derby St., Johnstown, Cambria County, is charged with one count each of criminal conspiracy, possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance, criminal use of a communication facility and dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity. Other charges include two counts each of corrupt organizations and possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance (heroin).

Melvin Jones, 36, 7917 Inglebrook Place, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, is charged with one count each of possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance, criminal use of a communication facility, dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity and persons not to possess a firearm. Other charges include two counts each of corrupt organizations and possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance, as well as eight counts of criminal conspiracy and 28 counts of delivery of a controlled substance (heroin).

Jordan Armstrong-Coles, 24, 1120 Woodbine St., Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, is charged with one count each of possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance, criminal use of a communication facility and dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity. Other charges include two counts of corrupt organizations, three counts of delivery of a controlled substance and eight counts of criminal conspiracy (heroin).

Krista Mader, 26, 1717 Buxton Road, Titusville, is charged with one count each of possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance, criminal use of a communication facility, criminal conspiracy and dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity. Other charges include two counts of corrupt organizations and 13 counts of delivery of a controlled substance (heroin).

Lenita Mack, 26, Building 15, Apt. 275 Solomon Homes, Johnstown, Cambria County, is charged with one count each of criminal use of a communication facility, criminal conspiracy and dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity, as well as two counts each of corrupt organizations and possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance (heroin).

Shianne Kelley, 19, Building 12, Apt. 215 Solomon Homes, Johnstown, Cambria County, is charged with one count each of possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance, criminal use of a communication facility, criminal conspiracy and dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity. Other charges include two counts of corrupt organizations and six counts of delivery of a controlled substance (heroin).

Stephanie Clemm, 34, 5611 Broad St., Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, is charged with one count each of criminal conspiracy, dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity and receiving stolen property (heroin).

Denise Harper, 61, 1747 Crestline St., Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, is charged with one count each of criminal conspiracy, dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity and possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance (heroin).

Rischelle Weyant, 45, 151 Caola Road, Boswell, Somerset County, is charged with one count each of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity and criminal use of a communication facility. Other charges include two counts each of corrupt organizations and criminal conspiracy, as well as 24 counts of possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance (heroin).

Daniel McPhee, 33, 997 Station Road, Twin Rocks, Cambria County, is charged with one count each of criminal conspiracy, dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity and criminal use of a communication facility. Other charges include two counts of corrupt organizations and 24 counts of possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance (heroin).

Kayla Minor, 30, 430 Minor Road, Summerhill, Cambria County, is charged with one count each of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity and criminal use of a communication facility. Other charges include two counts of corrupt organizations and four counts each of criminal conspiracy and possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance (heroin).

Jackie Geisel, 30, 408 21st St., Windber, Somerset County, is charged with one count each of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity and criminal use of a communication facility. Other charges include two counts of corrupt organizations, four counts of possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance and five counts of criminal conspiracy (heroin).

Roman Geisel, 31, 408 21st St., Windber, Somerset County, is charged with one count each of possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance, dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity and criminal use of a communication facility. Other charges include two counts each of corrupt organizations and criminal conspiracy (heroin).

Sasha Rummell, 28, Building 10, Apt. 189 Solomon Homes, Johnstown, Cambria County, is charged with one count each of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity and criminal use of a communication facility. Other charges include two counts of corrupt organizations and eight counts of possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance (heroin).

Shawn Miller, 45, 1906 Cambria Ave., Windber, Somerset County, is charged with one count each of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity and criminal use of a communication facility. Other charges include two counts each of corrupt organizations, criminal conspiracy and possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance (heroin).

Shanna Miller, 29, 431 Vickroy Ave., Johnstown, Cambria County, is charged with one count each of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity, criminal conspiracy and criminal use of a communication facility, as well as two counts of corrupt organizations and five counts of possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance (heroin).

Anntasia Castapheny, 22, 1355 Virginia Ave., Johnstown, Cambria County, is charged with one count each of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity, criminal conspiracy and criminal use of a communication facility. Other charges include two counts of corrupt organizations and 12 counts of possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance (heroin).

Robert Castapheny, 28, 2731 7th Ave., Altoona, Blair County, is charged with one count each of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity, criminal conspiracy and criminal use of a communication facility. Other charges include two counts of corrupt organizations and four counts of possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance (heroin).

Ryan Baumgardner, 39, 127 Bansky Ave., Johnstown, Cambria County, is charged with one count each of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity, criminal conspiracy and criminal use of a communication facility. Other charges include two counts each of corrupt organizations and possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance (heroin).

Robert Steeves, 55, 3482 Menoher Blvd., Johnstown, Cambria County, is charged with one count each of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity, criminal conspiracy and criminal use of a communication facility. Other charges include two counts of corrupt organizations and five counts of possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance (heroin).

Massai Dickey, 45, 1127 Riffith St., Johnstown, Cambria County, is charged with one count each of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity, criminal conspiracy and criminal use of a communication facility. Other charges include two counts of corrupt organizations and three counts of possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance (heroin).

Brandon Emeigh, 31, 401 W. Main St., Somerset, Somerset County, is charged with one count each of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity, criminal conspiracy, criminal use of a communication facility and possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance, as well as two counts of corrupt organizations (heroin).

Raphael Cosby, 32, 200½ Arch St., Johnstown, Cambria County, is charged with one count each of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity, criminal conspiracy, criminal use of a communication facility, possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance and delivery of a controlled substance, as well as two counts of corrupt organizations (heroin).

Shavon Baskin, 28, 104 Lowman St., Johnstown, Cambria County, is charged with one count each of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity, criminal conspiracy and criminal use of a communication facility, as well as five counts of delivery of a controlled substance (heroin).

Sara Painter, also known as Sara Wilcox, 29, 155 Cheese Run Road, Indiana, Indiana County, is charged with one count each of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy and criminal use of a communication facility (heroin).

Troy Shilling, 24, 805 Front St., Apt. 2, Cresson, Cambria County, is charged with one count each of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy and criminal use of a communication facility (heroin).

James Vance-Ivey, 34, Lawrence County Correctional Facility, is charged with one count each of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy and criminal use of a communication facility (heroin).

Keith Carpenter, 29, 217 Schuele Ave., Buffalo, N.Y., is charged with one count each of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy and criminal use of a communication facility (heroin).

Eddie Davis, 30, 706 Cypress Ave., Johnstown, Cambria County, is charged with one count each of delivery of a controlled substance and criminal use of a communication facility (heroin).

Brandi Wheeler, 37, 601 Hill Ave., Wilkinsburg, Allegheny County, is charged with one count of criminal use of a communication facility and two counts each of delivery of a controlled substance and criminal conspiracy (heroin).

Tara Dunning, 33, 2914 Blackridge Ave., Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, is charged with one count of criminal use of a communication facility and two counts each of possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance and criminal conspiracy (heroin).

Timothy Patton, 26, 120 Gautner Road, Johnstown, Cambria County, is charged with one count each of delivery of a controlled substance and criminal conspiracy (heroin).


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