Attorney General announces drug ring shutdown

Local News

A crystal meth and cocaine drug ring operating between Clearfield County and Akron, Ohio is officially shut down.

State Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced additional charges against three of five people involved.

Shapiro said this ring distributed 10,000 grams of crystal meth, valued at $1.5 million in Clearfield County.

“Let me put that in real terms for you,” Shapiro said. “That equaled about 75 doses of crystal meth being used every single day here in Clearfield County. That’s a significant amount of poison being injected into our neighborhoods.”

Shapiro said the investigation began in September 2017.

He said agents found 53-year-old Sondra McQuillen of Houtzdale traveled to 26 times to Akron, Ohio pick up drugs from 49-year-old James Thomas of Akron.

31-year-old Kenneth Quade of Houtzdale was found at McQuillen’s residence the time a search warrant was executed. He faces charges for deliver and conspiracy to deliver.

These new charges stem out of charges announced in September 2018.

At that time, Jason and Joyce Merritts were charged for trafficking and selling drugs from their apartment in Lawrence Park Village while their children were home.

Shapiro said this operation is only made possible through the collaboration of law enforcement agencies.

“This is an example of government at its best,” Shapiro said. “Working together, local, state and federal officials coming together with a singular purpose and that is to reclaim communities and make people safer.”

Shapiro said another man, Donald Mullen was involved in the pipeline with McQuillen, but died of an overdose in 2018. 

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