5 arrested by Office of Attorney General Josh Shapiro with strong collaboration from local law enforcement
HARRISBURG — Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced charges against five drug dealers – each of them related to one another — for operating a cocaine distribution ring in Clearfield County.
Todd Anderson, 45, of Lynn Street, Madera, was identified by investigators as the ring leader of the drug operation and the dealer who brought the cocaine into Clearfield from Beaver County. With the help of his wife, mother-in-law, brother-in-law and uncle, Anderson sold $134,000 worth of cocaine over 12 months to users in Clearfield County.
“This drug ring was selling more than $10,000 of cocaine a month – pumping their poison into Clearfield and surrounding communities,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “People in Clearfield County are fed up. We hear them and we’re taking action. This family of cocaine dealers is shut down.”
Following an investigation which began last summer and a series of controlled drug buys from Anderson and his family of dealers, investigators seized more than 70 grams of cocaine, $2,750 in cash and drug paraphernalia in raids in Houtzdale in March and Phillipsburg in June. The Houtzdale home is owned by Anderson’s mother-in-law, Pamela Gavlak, and brother-in-law, Robert Gavlak. Anderson lives at that address with his wife, Catherine Anderson, who was also arrested in the drug ring. The fifth defendant, Leroy Bryant, is Todd Anderson’s uncle.
A statewide investigating grand jury recommended the family of dealers be charged with violations of the controlled substance act, criminal conspiracy, dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity and corrupt organizations. All face felony charges of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance:
All the defendants were arraigned on the charges and held on various bail amounts at the Clearfield County Jail. Bail for Todd Anderson, the drug ringleader, was set at $1 million by District Justice James Hawkins. A preliminary hearing for the defendants is set for August 23.
Attorney General Shapiro praised law enforcement collaboration in the investigation: “Thanks to the collaborative efforts of the Clearfield County District Attorney’s Office, Clearfield Drug Task Force, Decatur Township Police, Lawrence Township Police, Pennsylvania State Police and the 40th Statewide Investigating Grand Jury, this cocaine ring is out of business.”
Senior Deputy Attorney General David Gorman will prosecute the cases.
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