AG Shapiro Charges 12 in Central PA For Meth Trafficking Ring

September 1, 2021 | Topic: Criminal

HARRISBURG—Attorney General Josh Shapiro, in conjunction with the 47th Investigating Statewide Grand Jury, today announced charges against 12 individuals for their role in the operation of a methamphetamine trafficking organization. The organization operated in Columbia, Cumberland, Dauphin, Luzerne, Montour, Northampton, and Perry counties.

“These defendants were peddling poisons into neighborhoods across central Pennsylvania, including methamphetamine–a highly addictive stimulant responsible for more overdose deaths each year,” said Attorney General Shapiro. “We are committed to taking these dealers off our streets and keeping Pennsylvania communities safe.”

In July 2020, agents from the Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Narcotics Investigations launched an investigation into a drug trafficking organization distributing methamphetamine and heroin/fentanyl. Investigators identified Robert Fowler, 39, as the ringleader of the organization. Agents determined that Fowler was purchasing methamphetamine from Marc Bankes and Anthony Leming. He purchased other substances from Nikolaus Andrews, who was also charged as part of the Grand Jury investigation.

Utilizing a variety of investigative methods, investigators identified Chelsey Andrews, Douglas Farner, Barry Melhorn, Thomas Priar, Scott Reabuck, Oksana Reed, Michael Rowello, and Bradley Trump as co-conspirators who were redistributing drugs purchased by Fowler throughout central Pennsylvania.

As a result of this investigation, agents seized more than six pounds of methamphetamine and over 3,100 dosage units of fentanyl.

All defendants were charged in Perry County with Violations of the Controlled Substances Act, Corrupt Organizations, and related charges. All charges are accusations. The defendants are innocent unless and until proven guilty. This case is being prosecuted by Senior Deputy Attorney General Robert Smulktis.

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