$10M 'Dragon Heroin Pipeline' Dismantled In Eastern PA, 16 Dealers Charged: AG
Breaking: Charges against 16 drug dealers involved in a $10 million heroin and cocaine ring in Eastern Pennsylvania were announced Monday.
By Kara Seymour (Patch National Staff) - Updated August 1, 2017 11:44 am ET
A major drug bust that authorities say will reduce the amount of heroin and cocaine available in Eastern Pennsylvania was announced this week. Authorities called it the Dragon Heroin Pipeline, and charges against 16 involved drug dealers were announced Monday.
The ring, known for its potent "Dragon" stamped heroin, sold an estimated $7.8 million worth of the opiate in 13 months, Attorney General Josh Shapiro said. In addition to heroin, the ring also sold $1.9 million worth of cocaine in that time period, authorities said.
The bust was announced Monday after a statewide investigation that involved the Attorney General, Pennsylvania State Police, officials from Montgomery County, Altoona and Johnstown police and the Blair and Cambria County Drug Task Forces.
Damon “Fat Cat” Devine, 40, of Philadelphia was the main target of the investigation, which probed dealers who transported large amounts of heroin and cocaine from Philadelphia to Altoona and Johnstown, Shapiro said.
The Devine ring sold heroin that was stamped “Dragon” on the bags because it was more potent than other heroin sold in Altoona or Johnstown, authorities said.
Police began investigating Devine in August 2016, when he was a passenger in a car involved in a high-speed police chase with a Pennsylvania State Police Trooper that ended in a crash in Montgomery County. It was at that time that 3,750 heroin baggies stamped “Dragon,” was seized from the vehicle. Cocaine was also found in the car.
Devine posted bail after that arrest and continued to operate his drug organization, authorities allege.
To take down the pipeline, authorities said they made a series of controlled drug buys.
In addition to ring leader Devine, the following defendants are charged with possessing with intent to distribute narcotics, conspiracy and related charges:
Aaron Beard, 50, of 19th St, Altoona
Melissa Coleman, 43, of Stackhouse St, Johnstown
James Everett-Bey, 40, of Hunter Street, Philadelphia
Richard Govier, 39, of W Main St, Stoystown
Kristy Hicks, 38, of 29th St, Altoona
Kara Kirby-Horner, 35, of Campbell Ave, Johnstown
Blaine Jackson, 40, of Chandler Ave, Johnstown
Jaime Madden, 52, of Franklin St, Johnstown
Jasmine McGowan, 27, of Cypress Ave, Johnstown
James Miller, 28, of Ihmsen Ave, Johnstown
Jabu Robinson, 37, of W Wyneva St, Philadelphia
Phillip Stevens, 30, of Cherry Ave, Altoona
Travis Taylor, 39, of 1st Ave, Altoona
Brieon Thurston, 35, of Lenhart St, Johnstown
Barbara Tyler, 58, of Greenwood Ave, Trenton, NJ