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Cops, Courts & Fire - Yardley Borough

Meth Ring Mastermind & 16 Associates Shut Down, Jailed

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A sprawling methamphetamine operation based in Lower Bucks County was shut down by a multi jurisdictional law enforcement three- year investigation on Wednesday. 

The Bucks County Detectives Drug Strike Force and the Bensalem Township Police Department have charged the leader and 16 employees of a methamphetamine trafficking “empire” that operated for at least three years in and around Bucks County.

Credit: Bucks Co DA’s Office

William Jefferson, 57, of Philadelphia, was arrested Wednesday and charged as the head of what investigators call the Jefferson Drug Trafficking Operation (DTO). Arraigned by District Judge Michael W. Gallagher, Jefferson was held in lieu of bail set at 10 percent of $2 million.

With Jefferson, a.k.a. “Beetle,” at the helm, the drug ring moved about 20 pounds of methamphetamine every week, supplying distribution amounts of the drug to individuals throughout the region. Associates described Jefferson as a “monster” who was feared by other dealers, a criminal complaint says. He faces counts of corrupt organizations, possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine, dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity, criminal use of a communications facility and related conspiracy counts.

The Drug Strike Force and Bensalem Police conducted their investigation jointly with Pennsylvania State Police and the FBI Bucks County Violent Crimes Unit with the support of Homeland Security Investigations and Liberty Mid-Atlantic HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area). The roundup marks the second major bust in two weeks spearheaded by the Drug Strike Force

Its the third arrest, in less than a week, of person alleged to to be engaged in drug distribution in the Lower Bucks area. 

 

“We took down the suboxone prison drug trafficking ring last week. We blew up the Beetle Jefferson meth trafficking empire this week,” said Bucks County District Attorney Matthew D. Weintraub. “Our Drug Strike Force and Bensalem Police maximized their HIDTA partnerships to battle major drug trafficking in Bucks County. More to come.”

In a series of sprawling criminal complaints filed Monday, detectives from the Bucks County Detectives Drug Strike Force and the Bensalem Township Police Department describe the Jefferson DTO as a “main source supplier” that trafficked vast quantities of methamphetamine in Bucks County, supplying dealers in Bucks and the surrounding areas.

To house and distribute its wares, the organization utilized various locations in Lower Bucks County including Detail Doctor, a car detailing service in Bristol Township whose owners James Kurtz, 58, of Morrisville, and David Reil, 38, of Langhorne Borough, are among the 17 charged. A police search of the now-defunct business on Wednesday turned up a stolen gun and a distribution amount of methamphetamine. Also charged are:

Larry Tirrel Dempsey, 47, of Philadelphia

Courtney K. Lewis, 42, of Philadelphia

Tenny Roscoe, 52, of Philadelphia

Wayne Carberry, 52, of Bensalem

Shawn Toner, 37, of Bristol Township

William Friemann, 51, of Bristol Township

George Melavas, 44, of Bristol Township

Corrine Weeks, 20, of Philadelphia

Michael P. Detty, 61, of Bristol Township

Robin Tillman, 53, of Falls Township

Danielle Kath Archibald, 33, of Bristol Township

Charles Rose, 48, of Falls Township

Stephen Rose, 43, of Falls Township

Patricia Dailey, 39, of Willow Grove

Members of the Jefferson DTO dealt almost exclusively in distribution quantities of meth, often using quart-sized aluminum cans similar to coffee or paint cans to sell off pounds at a time. The weight of drugs moved weekly by the organization is estimated to have had a street value of more than $900,000.

The probe of the group, as outlined in charging documents, traces back to 2017 with street level dealers and grew through cooperative law enforcement efforts and the implementation of numerous investigative techniques. All but one of the case’s 17 defendants, a lower level dealer, have been apprehended and arraigned. Most have been held on significant bail.

The Bucks County Detectives Drug Strike Force and the Bensalem Township Police Department also were assisted in this investigation by the Bristol Township Police Department, Falls Township Police Department, Middletown Township Police Department, Bristol Borough Police Department, Philadelphia Police Department and the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General. The Liberty Mid-Atlantic HIDTA is one of 33 High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas nationwide supported by funding from the Office of National Drug Control Policy.  Nine counties in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware comprise the Liberty Mid-Atlantic HIDTA region, with Bucks County being designated in 2019. 

Along with the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office, over 50 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies partner through HIDTA to reduce the availability of drugs in the region. This case has been assigned for prosecution to Deputy District Attorney Christopher W. Rees and Deputy District Attorney David A. Keightly.

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Cops, Courts & Fire - Yardley Borough

Two Women in Separate Incidents, Each with Probation Warrants Set off License Plate Reader Notifications Jailed

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Back to back arrests of two women with arrest warrants whose license plates set off notifications to police were jailed in separate incidents earlier this week.

According to police, on July 15  just before 7 pm., an officer on patrol on the  200 block S. Main street was notified of a hit via the automatic license plate reader  on a vehicle with a registration suspended for insurance cancellation. The officer then observed the same vehicle and conducted a traffic stop on the subject vehicle. Upon confirming that the operator of the vehicle had an active arrest warrant issued by Bucks County Adult Probation, the officer arrested the 42-year-old woman from Yardley on the warrant.  The woman was processed and remanded to Bucks County Prison. The vehicle was released to a family member.  Additional motor vehicle violations may be filed.

On July 16, at approximately 8:18 pm, Yardley Borough Police were on patrol  and received a notification of a hit via the automatic license plate reader on a vehicle with an expired/suspended registration. The officer observed the subject vehicle and utilizing a timing device noted that the subject vehicle was speeding.  The officer conducted a traffic stop of the vehicle on the 200 block of South Main Street. The driver of the vehicle was determined to be operating the vehicle without a valid license, registration, or insurance, said police.

Upon confirming that the operator of the vehicle had an active arrest warrant issued by Bucks County Adult Probation, the officer arrested a 23-year-old woman from King of Prussia on the warrant.  The woman was processed and remanded to Bucks County Prison. The vehicle was impounded.  Additional motor vehicle violations may be filed. The matter is pending court, police said. 

Both matters are pending court dates.

 

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Cops, Courts & Fire - Yardley Borough

More than 80 Police Departments across Southeast Pennsylvania to Target Aggressive Drivers during Statewide Mobilization

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The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today that more than 80 municipal police departments from Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties will join the Pennsylvania State Police in a coordinated aggressive driving enforcement wave. This collective effort, part of a statewide mobilization running through August 18, is aimed at reducing the number of crashes, injuries, and fatalities on our area roadways, ensuring your safety on the road.

The enforcement wave will target heavy truck violations, pedestrian safety, red light running, and tailgating. Motorists demonstrating unsafe behaviors, such as driving too fast for conditions or other aggressive actions, will also be cited.

Law enforcement will utilize strategies such as traffic enforcement zones, saturation patrols, speed enforcement details, corridor enforcement, work zone enforcement, and multi-jurisdictional patrol to identify and cite aggressive drivers.
The enforcement is part of Pennsylvania’s Highway Safety Program and is funded by part of PennDOT’s investment of federal funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
If you encounter an aggressive driver, PennDOT offers these tips:

  • Get out of their way and don’t challenge them.
  • Stay relaxed, avoid eye contact, and ignore rude gestures.
  • Don’t block the passing lane if you drive slower than most traffic.
  • Do not attempt to follow or pursue the vehicle. You or a passenger may call the police. But, if you use a cell phone, pull over to a safe location.
  • >

    According to 2023 PennDOT crash data, there were 1,363 aggressive driving crashes, resulting in 39 fatalities and 104 suspected serious injuries in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties. Aggressive driving crashes involve at least two aggressive driving factors in the same crash. Factors include, but are not limited to, running stop signs or red lights, tailgating, careless turning or passing, and driving too fast for conditions.

    The goal of targeted enforcement is to reduce the number of aggressive driving-related crashes, injuries, and deaths on roadways throughout the state. Any aggressive driver stopped by police will receive a ticket.

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Cops, Courts & Fire - Yardley Borough

Local Lawmakers Want to Expand DNA Sampling in Criminal Cases

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Last week a group of Bucks County Republican lawmakers with local authorities held a press conference to discuss changes they said need to be put in place regarding the collection of DNA from potential criminals.

State Senator Frank Farry state Rep. K.C. Tomlinson, Rep. Joe Hogan, Rep. Kristin Marcell, Rep Labs, joined First Assistant District Attorney Ed Louka, Bucks County Sheriff Fred Harran, Chief of Lower Southampton Police Department Ted Krimmel, and local law enforcement officials at Comic Collection, in Feasterville to discuss the importance of DNA technology in Pennsylvania’s Criminal Justice System.

Specifically legislation the legislators  are working on would expand the number of DNA samples in the criminal justice system by requiring post-arrest testing of anyone charged with a felony or certain misdemeanors.  This sample-taking would be much like the established process of taking an arrestee’s fingerprints.  Nineteen states currently collect post-arrest DNA samples.

The press conference highlighted the impressive work by the Lower Southampton Police Department in an investigation of a violent robbery at Comic Collection in September 2022, where a DNA match led to the charging of two Michigan men 18 months after the crime.

It will also in mind the importance of conviction integrity served by advanced use of DNA identification. A sample can prove the innocence of someone else who has been incorrectly accused or convicted and imprisoned for a crime when the DNA ends up matching someone.

SB988, and its companion bill HB2030, would also expand the collection of DNA samples for those offenders convicted of criminal homicide, which under Pennsylvania law are their own classification of crime and technically not classified as felonies. This legislation would close that loophole and require collection of DNA samples from these offenders to solve other cold case murders and crimes.

 

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