$5 million dollar drug pipeline shut down

Investigators say drugs went through Blair County

York, York County, Pa - Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced criminal charges against 15 people for their roles in a drug pipeline that distributed and sold 15,000 bricks of heroin in York and Blair counties over a two-year period. The heroin sold for approximately $5 million.

A statewide investigating grand jury recommended the charges in this case. The grand jury determined the drug organization was headed by Wayne Davis, 36, and Lawrence Francis, 39, both of York.

According to the grand jury presentment made public today, Davis and Francis were responsible for transporting heroin and ecstasy along a New York City-York (PA)-Altoona pipeline during 2015 and 2016, when both men sold the drugs and engaged others to sell on their behalf.

“Earlier today, 15 drug dealers were arrested and charged with operating a major heroin pipeline from New York City to York (PA) and Altoona,” Attorney General Shapiro said at a news conference in York. “We’ve shut down this pipeline, and we’ll keep working to break up these complex drug networks wherever we find them.”

The arrests are the result of a joint investigation conducted by the Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Narcotics Investigation, Pennsylvania State Police, Blair County Drug Task Force, Blair County District Attorney’s Office and Altoona Police.

Today’s arrests resulted from investigations of heroin distribution and sales in Blair County and York that eventually merged into one joint investigation. In the summer of 2015, members of the Blair County Drug Task Force made controlled buys of heroin from Terron Miller, 30, of Altoona. Through that summer, the Task Force kept purchasing heroin from Miller and other defendants Nathan Foor, Courtney Gority, Rachelle Keith and Miranda McCulley.

In York, Pennsylvania State Police investigators began conducting controlled buys of heroin from Francis and Davis. The suspects at times used a York location as a stash house for some of the heroin.

Investigators learned Francis and Davis had begun shifting their illicit organization to Blair County. Pennsylvania State Police observed Davis, Francis and Miller meeting in Blair County. It was confirmed that Davis and Francis were the sources of heroin for Miller and others in the Altoona area. Davis and Francis recruited individuals in Altoona and used their residences to store and process their shipments of drugs and sell it on the streets. One of Davis’ and Francis’ main Altoona distributors was Miller. 

Attorney General Shapiro thanked all the law enforcement agencies participating in the investigation, specifically noting the Blair County Sheriff’s Department and Pennsylvania State Police for their help with today’s arrests.

“It took strong collaboration by law enforcement across several Pennsylvania counties to close this pipeline,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “This is a major drug network we shut down. We thank all our partners and we’ll continue working together to break up these kinds of networks wherever we find them.”

The defendants charged in today’s operation will be prosecuted by Senior Deputy Attorney General David C. Gorman of the Attorney General’s Drug Strike Force Section.

Below are the defendants, addresses and charges against them:

  • Wayne Davis, 36, of the 500 block of Girard Ave., York, delivery of a controlled substance, corrupt organizations, conspiracy to engage in a corrupt organization, criminal conspiracy, dealing in the proceeds of unlawful activity and criminal use of a communication facility.
  • Lawrence Francis, 39, of the 300 block of E. King St., York, delivery of a controlled substance, corrupt organizations, conspiracy to engage in a corrupt organization, criminal conspiracy, dealing in the proceeds of unlawful activity, persons not to possess firearms, criminal use of a communication facility, possession of drug paraphernalia and conspiracy to possess drug paraphernalia.
  • Terron Miller, 30, currently incarcerated at SCI-Camp Hill, delivery of a controlled substance, corrupt organizations, conspiracy to engage in a corrupt organization, criminal conspiracy, dealing in the proceeds of unlawful activity and criminal use of a communication facility.

The following defendants were charged with delivery of a controlled substance, corrupt organizations, criminal conspiracy to engage in a corrupt organization, criminal conspiracy, dealing in the proceeds of unlawful activity and criminal use of a communication facility:

  • Nathan Foor, 30, of the 300 block of Clark St., Bellwood
  • Katrina Leonard, 42, of the first block of N. Tremont St., York
  • Stephanie Duffield, 56, of the 200 block of Allen Lane, Duncansville
  • Holly Burroughs, 32, of the 400 block of E. Walnut Ave., Altoona
  • Travis Taylor, 38, of the 1700 block of 1st Ave., Altoona
  • Joanne Helsel, 33, of the 2900 block of Maple Ave., Altoona
  • Miranda McCulley, 20, of the 400 block of E. Bell St., Altoona
  • Courtney Gority, 33, of the 1500 block of 18th Ave., Altoona
  • Kylene Schneider, 38, of the 200 block of Elcona St., Duncansville

The following defendants faced these charges:

  • Byron Handy, 68, of the 200 block of W. College Ave., York, conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and conspiracy to possess drug paraphernalia.
  • Bernard Stoney, 34, of the 100 block of Breckenridge St., Gettysburg, delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, dealing in the proceeds of unlawful activity and criminal use of a communication facility.
  • Rachelle Keith, 27, of the 200 block Barney St., Wilkes-Barre, delivery of a controlled substance, conspiracy to engage in a corrupt organization, criminal conspiracy, criminal use of a communication facility and dealing in the proceeds of unlawful activity.

 


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