28 people charged in multi-agency drug probe
Thursday, May 10, 2012
PUNXSUTAWNEY - "It's a good day to get this many because it affects the whole community," state police Lt. Bernard Petrovsky, Crime Section commander of Troop C, said Wednesday in announcing arrests in a drug trafficking organization supplying Clearfield, Elk and Jefferson counties.
Petrovsky announced the arrests in January of eight individuals on federal charges and the arrests and pending arrests of 20 others on state charges.
Jefferson County District Attorney Jeff Burkett cited the investigation and resulting arrests as "a tremendous example of what can be accomplished with federal and state (law enforcement), the Drug Enforcement Agency, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District."
The investigation began in September 2010 when Troop C Vice/Narcotics Unit noticed an influx of methamphetamine in the area.
Through February 2011, the investigation was expanded into the trafficking of methamphetamine and Oxycodone pills.
By March 2011, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service contacted Troop C officials regarding packages being mailed to and from Orlando, Fla.
David W. Bosch, assistant inspector in charge for the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Pittsburgh, said investigations are ongoing to protect the safety of their employees and the public as well.
Burkett said, "I'm pretty certain we'll be making more arrests, this is not the end of this."
Eight people were indicted on federal charges in January. They are charged with conspiracy to possess and possession to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine and a quantity of Oxycodone pills.
The eight include:
- Joshua G. Shaffer, Orlando, Fla. and Hiawatha, Iowa, alleged to be the source of illegal narcotics in Jefferson, Clearfield and Elk counties.
- Alexander D. Showers, Orlando, Fla.
- Keith A. Hayes, Orlando, Fla., Anita, Pa.
- Joseph F. Cesa, Kersey.
- Jason E. Shaffer, Clearfield.
- Tina M. Smith, Brookville.
- Trisha M. Thompson, Brookville.
- Tyler N. Thompson, Brookville.
Those facing state charges include:
- Ronald C. Dickey, 48, Reynoldsville.
- Michael L. Snyder, 32, Falls Creek.
They were previously taken in to custody.
Processed at the Troop C headquarters by the time of Wednesday morning's press conference and then taken to the offices of either District Judge Douglas R. Chambers or District Judge David B. Inzana were the following defendants:
- Kimberly L. Postlewait, 44, Reynoldsville.
- Heather A. Adamson, 41, Reynoldsville.
- Shandell R. Hyde, 27, Reynoldsville.
- Glenn A. Fox II, 34, Reynoldsville.
- Kristy L. Lepionka, 29, Reynoldsville.
- Debbie J. Lowmaster, 41, Reynoldsville.
- Raymond J. DeRalph, 38, Reynoldsville.
- Kristi L. Zimmerman, 46, Brookville.
- Christina R. Shaffer, 43, Falls Creek.
- Shawn M. Undercofler, 41, Clearfield.
- Kimm S. Wisor, 49, Hyde.
- Tammy L. Kuntz, 43, Big Run.
- Justin P. Craft, 24, Brockway.
Of the five defendants remaining to be taken in to custody, some had called the police saying they would be surrendering later. They include:
- Timothy F. Souders, 31, Philipsburg.
- Cynthia/Cindy D. Pifer-Collarini, 43, Punxsutawney.
- Wade E. Petrillo, 27, Brockway.
- Daniel A. Niver, 41, Big Run.
- Theodore R. Reagle, 44, Big Run.
By Laura Lynn Yohe, Jeffersonian Democrat.
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