Meth Trafficking Ringleaders Sentenced to 150 Years in Prison for Trafficking $1.6 Million in Drugs

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Pa. – Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced that two ringleaders who ran an interstate crystal methamphetamine ring that shipped and sold $1.6 million in drugs in Jefferson, Clarion, Clearfield, Elk and Forest Counties have been sentenced to a minimum aggregate of 150 years in prison.

The Office of Attorney General’s investigation was dubbed “Operation Snail Mail.”

On March 24, 2018, Larry Dean (pictured above, left) and Daniel Hopkins (pictured above, right) were found guilty of delivery, possession with intent to deliver drugs corrupt organizations, among other offenses. Dean and Hopkins were among 30 defendants charged in September 2017 for shipping crystal meth to Jefferson County and surrounding counties through the U.S. mail from other drug dealers in Arizona and California and distributing it throughout North Central Pennsylvania. The 35 pounds of crystal meth they sold produced between 32,000 and 64,000 doses of the dangerous, addictive illegal drug.

Hopkins was sentenced to 95 to 190 years in prison. Dean was sentenced to 55 to 143 years in prison. Other ringleaders include Joseph Kot, Sr., and Dale Hanlin. Hanlin was sentenced today to eight to 17 years in prison. Kot was previously sentenced to nine to 20 years in prison. Nine other defendants involved in the ring were also sentenced today.

“Crystal meth trafficking is a growing problem in Pennsylvania, particularly in rural parts of our state. When drug dealers from other states targeted rural Pennsylvania, our agents and prosecutors stopped them and shut this operation down.” Attorney General Shapiro said. “I’d like to thank Jefferson County District Attorney Jeffrey Burkett’s office, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Pennsylvania State Police for their assistance in breaking up this drug trafficking operation.”

The cases were prosecuted by Senior Deputy Attorney General Marnie Sheehan-Balchon and Jefferson County District Attorney Jeffrey Burkett.

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