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Cops, Courts & Fire - Yardley Borough

DA: Multi-County Gun Org Dismantled, One Bristol Man Charged

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Last Thursday, Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele, Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub and Abington Township Police Chief Patrick Molloy announce the dismantling of a gun trafficking organization that purchased 34 firearms in Montgomery, Bucks and Philadelphia counties and illegally resold them throughout the region. Five men, including the 20-year-old leader, were arrested on charges related to straw purchases of firearms, illegally transferring firearms, operating a corrupt organization and related charges. A sixth man, Joseph Lynch III, 25, of Carrollton, Ga., is being sought by law enforcement.

The gun trafficking organization was led by Clayton Robinson, 20, with sales help from his brothers Julian Robinson, 31, and Kenneth Robinson, 18, all of Glenside; along with three men who purchased the firearms: Maurice Baker IV, 23, of Bristol, who purchased 12 firearms; Brett Portner, 22, of Jenkintown, who purchased five firearms; and Lynch, who purchased 17 firearms for the organization.

This gun trafficking investigation began when Clayton Robinson was found to be in possession of an illegal firearm, despite his being just 20 years old at the time. As the joint investigation by Montgomery County Detectives, Bucks County Detectives and Abington Police looking at Clayton Robinson’s activities and contacts led to the three gun purchasers: Baker, Portner and Lynch. Portner and Baker were in communication with Clayton Robinson before, after and sometimes during the illegal gun purchases.

From there, law enforcement began following the multiple purchases of firearms by the three defendants through the Electronic Record of Sale (EROS) system and through hard copies of ATF and Pennsylvania State Police forms at gun stores. Detectives used surveillance, interviews, information from law enforcement agencies, call detail records and cellphone downloads, social media analysis, inspection of forms used in purchasing firearms and other methods of investigation. The investigation found that Lynch purchased 17 firearms for the gun trafficking organization from Nov. 17, 2020 to March 15, 2021; Portner purchased five guns from Jan. 11, 2021 to Feb. 3, 2022; and Baker purchased 12 firearms from May 12, 2021 to Dec. 31, 2021.

These firearms purchases were all “straw purchases,” which is when a person with a clean background purchases firearms specifically on behalf of another person to conceal the true ownership of the firearm. Persons who are unable to legally purchase a firearm would include convicted felons, domestic violence misdemeanants, juveniles and mentally ill individuals.

The investigation also found that once the purchased firearm was in Clayton Robinson’s possession, he used a power tool to illegally remove each firearm’s serial number and text conversations showed that buyers knew this. Other communications between Clayton Robinson and gun purchasers also showed that he was selling “switches,” which is slang for kits that convert semiautomatic handguns to fully automatic status, making the firearms even more dangerous.

“These defendants were acting together with the sole purpose of making money by putting firearms in the hands of people who cannot lawfully buy and possess guns, in effect arming criminals and in particular arming criminals with firearms capable of firing many, many bullets in a very short amount to time,” said Steele. “Straw purchases and the sale of those guns to people who cannot legally buy their own firearm is dangerous to the safety of all of our communities, especially when the guns have obliterated serial numbers as these guns did. Gun trafficking is a significant threat to public safety and should concern every law-abiding citizen.”

“Fighting illegal gun trafficking is our top priority in Bucks. We are gaining great ground in this area with the help of great partners like the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, and many other local, county, state and Federal law enforcement partners. When we work together, all of us are safer. That’s how we win.”

Of the 34 straw purchases identified through this investigation, only six have been recovered:

  1. Taurus .38 caliber firearm (purchased by Lynch Jan. 15, 2021) and a Glock handgun purchased by Luke DeCristofano Nov. 23, 2020, both recovered April 13, 2022 by Abington Police during Clayton Robinson’s arrest: –
  2. Ruger 9mm firearm (purchased Jan. 21, 2021 by Lynch), recovered April 16, 2021 by Middletown Township (Pa.) Police during a traffic stop; –
  3. Glock 9mm firearm (purchased March 6, 2021 by Lynch), recovered by Yardley Borough Police during a traffic stop on March 21, 2021; –
  4. Taurus 9mm firearm (purchased by Baker on July 20, 2021), recovered by Bensalem Township Police during a traffic stop on Sept. 13, 2021; –
  5. Canik 9mm semi-automatic firearm (purchased by Portner on Feb. 3, 2022), recovered by Abington Police from juvenile during a traffic stop on March 23, 2022.

The defendants were arrested on various criminal charges, but all include felony counts of Corrupt Organizations and Conspiracy. Other charges include Dealing in Proceeds of Unlawful Activities, Unlawful Transfer of a Firearm, Criminal Use of Communications Facilities, Materially False Statements and multiple related offenses.

Kenneth Robinson was arraigned before Magisterial District Justice Juanita Price. She set bail at $50,000.00 unsecured.

Clayton Robinson, Maurice Baker and Julian Robinson were arraigned before Magisterial District Justice Jay Friedenberg who set bail for Clayton Robinson at $99,000 cash bail; Maurice Baker at $99,000 cash bail; and Julian Robinson at $99,077 cash bail.

The preliminary hearing for these defendants is scheduled for 10:00 a.m., December 15, 2022, in front of Magisterial District Justice Juanita Price.

The case will be prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney William Highland of the Firearms Unit.

The investigation also had assistance from the FBI Task Force; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General’s Gun Violence Task Force and Liberty Mid-Atlantic HIDTA.

An arrest warrant has been issued for Lynch. If anyone has information about the Lynch’s whereabouts, or has information about additional illegal firearms being bought and/or sold by any of these defendants, call the Montgomery County Detective Bureau’s Crime Tip Line at 610-278-DOIT

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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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Cops, Courts & Fire - Yardley Borough

Updated: Bucks 9-1-1 Call Center Under Cyber Attack, Investigation launched

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Updated: 7:15 am Tuesday January 23: 

In response to a request for comment Bucks County Spokesperson James O’Malley included a message sent out to police, fire and EMS chiefs, as well as local Emergency Management Coordinators, adding that the county has no further comment at this time. The message is below in its entirety in italics:

The Bucks County Department of Emergency Communications is investigating a cybersecurity incident affecting the computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system.
 
All phone systems and radio systems remain operational, and all calls for service from the public are being received and dispatched to first responders without delay. All incidents are being documented using a backup system.
 
The CAD system has been offline since Sunday afternoon, and there is currently no projected timeframe for restoration. County IT is working to assess the issue and restore CAD service. The County has engaged state and federal partner agencies to assist in our response and investigation.
 
Automated resources powered by the CAD system will be unavailable for the duration of the outage.
 
Additionally, the County’s access to CLEAN and NCIC databases has been temporarily disconnected.  
 
We are requesting that radio communication be kept to essential transmissions only. We cannot field requests for incident times and suggest that responders attempt to maintain their times as best they can.
 
Updates will be provided as more information becomes available.

 

Original Story 

The Bucks County Computer Aided Dispatch system (CAD) has been down for more than 24 hours, multiple sources told Lower Bucks Source.

Sources said the reason for the system going offline is due to a cyber attack.

An email to county officials was not immediately returned late Monday night.

The CAD system went down, sources said, late Sunday afternoon.

911 Dispatchers use CAD, a source familiar with its inner workings said, to input and broadcast specific location information on incidents. The information goes to first responders helping to facilitate the  units dispatched to a given incident.  Part of the CAD network in Bucks County is linked to License Plate Reader (LPR) system which police departments use to check on motorists, sources told LBS Monday.

Officers are now taking down information with pen and paper.

A source with knowledge of the system being down said so far there have been no major issues in terms of communications, and it’s been “relatively quiet” in terms of major incidents in the county.

But how long can this keep, the source was asked, and they couldn’t respond with a concrete answer.

What is apparent is first responder services are being held hostage by cyber attackers, two sources said, and little to no information about the downed system is out there.

Versaterm’s Computer Aided Dispatch system (vCAD) for Police, Fire & Emergency Medical Services went live approximately two years ago.

Bucks County 911 Pennsylvania now supports more than 130 independent agencies, together responding to more than 600,000 calls for services each year, including 40 individual law enforcement entities, 60 volunteer and combination fire departments, and 17 emergency medical services, as well as a number of County-based and State-based agencies, says a Versaterm press release.

According to Diamond IT,  attacks of 911 call centers have been a growing and emerging problem over the last 10 years. 911 call centers have become a symbol of rescue and hope. But since 2014, that very symbol of safety has come under attack in cities such as Baltimore, Atlanta and Seattle, says one report from the cyber security firm.

Sources did say the full weight of the Federal Government is part of the cyber attack investigation, as of early Monday morning.

The  9-1-1 operations center is based in Ivyland Borough, and handles calls for municipal police departments, fire companies, and EMS squads.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cops, Courts & Fire - Yardley Borough

Bucks County Domestic Relations Top 10 Most Wanted

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If you have, or you know someone who has, an active Domestic Relations Bench Warrant, you must call the Domestic Relations Warrant Unit at 215-348-6843.

Here is the current top 10 domestic relations most wanted

caldwell

DOB: 12/13/1979
Sex: Female
Height: 5’4″
Weight: 144 lbs.
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Blue

Last Known Address: Southampton, PA

DOYNE BW

DOB: 9/11/1981
Sex: Male
Height: 5’8″
Weight:  150 lbs
Hair: Bald
Eyes: Blue

Last Known Address: Morrisville, PA

Drago

DOB: 5/1/1996
Sex: Male
Height: 6’2″
Weight:  200 lbs
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Brown

Last Known Address: Bristol, PA

Feehan

Donald T. Feehan

DOB: 10/01/1974
Sex: Male
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 170 lbs.
Hair: Bald
Eyes: Blue

Last Known Address: Levittown, PA

Hammond

Michael Hammond

DOB: 4/26/1986
Sex: Male
Height: 5’07”
Weight: 255 lbs.
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Brown

Last Known Address: Levittown, PA

Meyer

Michael Meyer II

DOB: 7/17/1987
Sex: Male
Height: 5’09”
Weight: 145 lbs.
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Brown

Last Known Address: Levittown, PA

 

Nickum

Bryan Nickum

DOB: 7/23/74
Sex: Male
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 175 lbs.
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Brown

Last Known Address: Doylestown,

thornton

Ian T. Thornton

DOB: 4/23/1973
Sex: Male
Height: 5’9″
Weight: 180 lbs.
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Hazel

Last Known Address: New Hope, PA

Vincent Vitelli

Vincent Vitelli

DOB: 6/29/1989
Sex: Male
Height: 5’09”
Weight: 220 lbs.
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Brown

Last Known Address: Bensalem, PA

Harry P. Wallace, Jr.

DOB: 8/12/1968
Sex: Male
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 200 lbs.
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Blue

Last Known Address: Bristol, PA

If the defendant does not appear at a scheduled Domestic Relations event, a bench warrant may be issued for the defendant’s arrest.  The Bucks County Sheriffs will apprehend the defendant. Every attempt is made to notify plaintiffs when defendants are apprehended.

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