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

August 21, 2014

Seven charged in $1 million New York City to Western Pa. drug trafficking ring

HARRISBURG - Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane today announced that the Office of Attorney General's Bureau of Narcotics Investigations (BNI) in a joint investigation with the Pennsylvania State Police Drug Law Enforcement Division has broken up a $1 million dollar drug distribution ring that operated between New York City and Western Pennsylvania.

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Peris Smith

 
Dabrielle Dawkins

 
Rafael "Ralphie" Ramirez

 
Marcos Ordonez

 
Charles Pratt

 
Dominique McElvy

 
Dawan Lockett

Evidence and testimony regarding the alleged drug trafficking was presented to a statewide investigating grand jury, which recommended the criminal charges being filed against the seven individuals associated with the organization. 

The grand jury found that Peris Smith was a heroin and cocaine trafficker capable of purchasing kilogram weights of drugs, processing and re-selling them. Smith allegedly supplied heroin and cocaine to his sister, Dabrielle Dawkins, for distribution in and around Beaver and Allegheny counties.

According to the grand jury, Dawkins often acted as Smith's courier and transported drugs from New York City. Agents were able to identify the organization's New York City drug source as Rafael "Ralphie" Ramirez.

As the investigation progressed, court authorized wiretaps were approved to determine the scope of the organization and to help identify suppliers. Agents believe that Smith and Dawkins arranged drug buys with the New York source on multiple occasions using at least six different cellular telephone numbers.

The grand jury found that between Oct. 24, 2013, and Feb. 19, 2014, Dawkins made at least 14 trips to the greater New York area in order to purchase drugs for redistribution. Agents estimate that Smith, Dawkins and their associates were capable of moving more than $1 million worth of drugs throughout the area; including, $951,000 worth of cocaine and $120,000 worth of marijuana.

Over the course of the investigation, agents seized one kilogram of cocaine, 15 bricks of heroin, at least one pound of marijuana and more than one ounce of MDMA. Additionally, agents seized a loaded Keltec 9 mm handgun, a Jimenez Arms .380 caliber handgun, a Makarov 9 mm handgun, a loaded Keltec .32 caliber handgun, body armor and various materials used to process and package drugs.

Attorney General Kane thanked the Pennsylvania State Police, the City of Aliquippa Police Department, the Harmony Township Police Department, the Avalon Police Department, the Moon Township Police Department, the Ambridge Borough Police Department, the new Brighton Borough Police Department, the North Fayette Township Police Department, the Findlay Township Police Department, the Robinson Township Police Department, the Sewickley Police Department, the Leetsdale Police Department and the McKees Rocks Police Department for their assistance with the investigation.

The case will be prosecuted in Beaver County by Deputy Attorney General Maureen Sheehan-Balchon of the Office of Attorney General's Drug Strike Force.

Below is a complete list of the defendants and the charges against them.

--Peris Smith, 33, 1719 Boundary St., Aliquippa, Beaver County, is charged with four counts of delivery of cocaine, two counts of delivery of marijuana, two counts of corrupt organizations, one count of criminal conspiracy, one count of delivery of heroin and one count of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity.

--Dabrielle Dawkins, 27, 500 Superior Ave., Apt. 306, D Building, Aliquippa, Beaver County, is charged with seven counts of delivery of heroin, five counts of delivery of cocaine, two counts of corrupt organizations, two counts of persons not to possess a firearm, one count of criminal conspiracy and one count of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity.

--Rafael "Ralphie" Ramirez, 27, 471 Audubon Ave., Apt. 1, New York, New York, is charged with two counts of corrupt organizations, one count of criminal conspiracy, two counts of delivery of cocaine and one count of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity.

--Marcos Ordonez, 32, 811 Frank St., McKees Rocks, Allegheny County, is charged with one count of criminal conspiracy and one count of persons not to possess a firearm.

--Charles Pratt, 30, 1200 Park Road, Ambridge, Beaver County, is charged with three counts of delivery of heroin, one count of possession with the intent to deliver heroin and one count of persons not to possess a firearm.

--Dominique McElvy, 24, 136 3rd Ave., Aliquippa, Beaver County, is charged with one count of delivery of cocaine.

--Dawan Lockett, 34, 135 Gregory St., Aliquippa, Beaver County, is charged with two counts of delivery of methylone/MDMA.

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

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