Kathleen G. Kane - Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General - Protecting Pennsylvanians

 

Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane, Allegheny County Police investigation into shootings targets 18 with ties to violent, heroin-trafficking "Wilkinsburg Crew" 
 

 
Julian Thompson

 
Andre Brown

 
Vadol Lewis

 
Jasmine Carter

 
Dalemar Satchell

 
Gregory Nash

 
James Shanks

 
Kyland Napper

 
Kyle Wilson

 
Eric Newsome

 
Emmett Wilson

 
Tyree Young

 
Michael Barr

 
Khiry Thomas

 
Nicholas Beck


Jonas Gillespie

 
Reginald Freeman

 
Garnett Long-Parham

HARRISBURG - Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane today announced the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General's Organized Crime Section along with the Allegheny County Police filed charges against 18 suspected drug dealers as part of "Operation Wilkinsburg Crew," an ongoing investigation into a violent heroin trafficking organization operating in Wilkinsburg.
 
Kane said a series of homicides and shootings in Wilkinsburg believed to be related to heroin trafficking prompted the investigation, which began in 2012 when the Allegheny County Narcotics unit made a series of arrests for heroin distribution in Wilkinsburg and surrounding communities.
 
"My message to communities that are being terrorized by drug-related violence and crime is that their safety is my priority," Kane said. "My office is using every resource available to get criminals off the streets and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law."
 
The investigation developed using a series of court-ordered wiretaps, undercover drug purchases, controlled buys and search warrants and revealed members of the "Wilkinsburg Crew" allegedly plotted to rob and murder a rival heroin dealer in an effort to control heroin trafficking in Wilkinsburg and profit personally.
 
Evidence and testimony was presented to a statewide investigating grand jury which recommended the charges that were filed today.
 
According to the grand jury, the central figure of the "Wilkinsburg Crew" was Julian Thompson, 20. The organization allegedly was a major supplier of heroin in other communities including Churchill, Penn Hills and Monroeville, selling an average of 50 bricks (or 50 individual bags) of heroin per week that were stamped or marked with brand names that included: "MMG," "VIP," "HITMAN," "MASERATI," "BAD BOYZ,"
"HARLEY-DAVIDSON," "SUPER BOWL" and "EXXON."
 
Much of the heroin sold by Thompson and members of the "Wilkinsburg Crew" was supplied by Garnett Long-Parham, 27, who traveled once a month to Newark, N.J. to purchase an average of 1,500 bricks stamped and ready for distribution according to investigators. Long-Parham allegedly sold the heroin to other crews and dealers in Wilkinsburg.
 
Investigators executing a series of search warrants for homes and vehicles linked to members of the crew seized a fully loaded Rock River Arms AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle; four handguns, one of which was reported stolen; approximately 270 bricks of heroin with an estimated street value of $94,500; approximately $95,671 in cash; and over a half kilogram of powder and crack cocaine.
 
Kane noted the average age of "Wilkinsburg Crew" members is 21, and that they used children as young as 13 to "run" heroin to buyers and cash to dealers at various locations in the area.
 
Additionally, many of the heroin buyers identified in the investigation came to Wilkinsburg from neighboring Westmoreland County according to investigators. In that county alone there have been 20 heroin-related deaths so far this year.
 
The criminal charges were filed before Monroeville Magisterial District Judge Jeffrey L. Herbst.
 
The defendants will be prosecuted in Allegheny County by Deputy Attorney General Michael Ahwesh of the Attorney General's Organized Crime Section.
 
Kane thanked the following for their assistance in the investigation: the Allegheny County Police, the Allegheny County District Attorney?s Office, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Wilkinsburg Police Department, the Wilkins Township Police Department and the Monroeville Police Department.
 
Below is a list of the defendants at the charges filed against them:
 
-- Julian Thompson, 20, 2137 Village Drive, Wilkinsburg, is charged with two counts of criminal conspiracy, two counts of participating in a corrupt organization and one count of delivery of heroin.
 
-- Jasmine Carter, 23, no known address, one count of delivery of heroin and one count of possession with intent to deliver heroin.

-- James Shanks, 23, 2903 Gilmore St., Pittsburgh, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, one count of criminal conspiracy, one count of delivery of heroin and one count of possession with the intent to deliver heroin.
 
-- Andre Brown, 21, 1212 Besemer St., Pittsburgh, is charged with one count of delivery of heroin and one count of possession with the intent to deliver heroin.
 
-- Gregory Nash, 33, 418 N. Graham St., Pittsburgh, is charged with one count of criminal conspiracy.
 
-- Garnett Long-Parham, 27, 4301 Stonecliffe Drive, Monroeville, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, one count of criminal conspiracy, one count of delivery of heroin and one count of possession with the intent to deliver heroin.
 
-- Vadol Lewis, 20, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, one count of criminal conspiracy, one count of delivery of heroin and one count of possession with the intent to deliver heroin.
 
-- Kyland Napper, 20, 417 Ella St., Wilkinsburg, is charged with one count of delivery of heroin and one count of possession with the intent to deliver heroin.
 
-- Kyle Wilson, 19, 2131 Lindsay Road, Wilkinsburg, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, one count of criminal conspiracy, one count of delivery of heroin and one count of possession with the intent to deliver heroin.
 
-- Eric Newsome, 21, 631 Deborah Jane Drive, Pittsburgh, is charged with one count of delivery of heroin, one count of possession with the intent to deliver heroin and one count of possession of heroin.
 
-- Emmett Wilson, 21, 2109 Village Drive, Pittsburgh, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, two counts of delivery of heroin, two counts of possession with the intent to deliver heroin, two counts of possession of heroin and one count of criminal conspiracy.
 
-- Jonas Gillespie, 20, 1900 Brushcliffe Road, Pittsburgh, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, one count of criminal conspiracy, one count of delivery of heroin and one count of possession with the intent to deliver heroin.
 
-- Dalemar Satchell, 20, 200 Johnston Road, Penn Hills, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, one count of criminal conspiracy, one count of delivery of heroin and one count of possession with the intent to deliver heroin.
 
-- Reginald Freeman, 21, 9933 Grandview Ave., Penn Hills, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, one count of criminal conspiracy, one count of delivery of heroin and one count of possession with the intent to deliver heroin.
 
-- Tyree Young, 22, 417 Card St., Wilmerding, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, one count of criminal conspiracy, one count of delivery of heroin and one count of possession with the intent to deliver heroin.
 
-- Michael Barr, 25, 7226 Joshua St., Pittsburgh, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, one count of criminal conspiracy, one count of delivery of heroin and one count of possession with the intent to deliver heroin.
 
-- Nicholas Beck, 29, 204 Moon Stone Lane, Greensburg, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization and one count of criminal conspiracy.
 
-- Khiry Thomas, 23, 1142 South Ave., #2, Pittsburgh, is charged with one count of possession with intent to deliver heroin and one count of possession of heroin.


 
 
(A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty.)
 
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