“Operation Sunset” Dismantles Scranton Area Drug Distribution Network

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Criminal Charges Filed Against 42 Suspected Dealers & Associates

HARRISBURG – Agents from the Attorney General’s Bureau of Narcotics Investigation, along with officers from the Scranton Police Department and Lackawanna County District Attorney’s Office, are in the process of arresting 42 suspected drug dealers and associates allegedly linked to violent drug gangs operating in the Scranton area.

Acting Attorney General Bill Ryan said the investigation, known as “Operation Sunset,” focused on the distribution and sale of an estimated $750,000 worth of crack cocaine, marijuana and LSD over the past six months.

Ryan said investigators identified two separate Scranton organizations, both allegedly linked to the “Bloods” street gang and both being supplied by sources from New York City. One of the local groups was allegedly headed by Derrick James Ward, also known as “Boss,” from the Bronx, while the other was controlled by Junior Jackson, known by the street name “Horse.”

“These two drug networks operated side-by-side – often selling from the same locations, including the Sun Hotel in Scranton – using go-betweens from New York and Scranton to settle disputes about local drug territories or supplies,” Ryan said. “Though these two organizations may have tolerated each other, the potential for violence remained strong, including suspected links to a still unsolved drug-related homicide in Scranton that occurred in December 2010.”

Ryan noted that the fatal shooting of Michael Jackson remains under active investigation and was a key factor in the initiation of this joint investigation.

Using cell phones and typically operating from the Sun Hotel, which was often referred to as “the business,” Derrick Ward allegedly communicated with a network of dealers, customers, runners and suppliers on a daily basis. Ward was assisted by another Bronx resident, Rashad Roper, who reportedly served as a type of “human resources director” for the gang – recruiting potential dealers and runners from New York, arranging transportation to Scranton and then working to resolve any complaints about those individuals.

“This was a wide reaching and well organized operation that focused on responding to drug orders and completing sales as quickly as possible,” Ryan said. “Gang members were scolded for keeping customers waiting, cautioned about maintaining the quality of the crack cocaine that was being produced and encouraged to market and promote new items in order to help ‘pop’ or increase sales.”

According to the investigation, Ward was also assisted by Quincy Buckley, of Scranton, who allegedly supervised sales involving a number of mid-level dealers, including James Mendy, of the Bronx, and Ransford Robinson, who often operated from a house on the 800 block of Capouse Avenue in Scranton.

Ryan noted that the Junior Jackson organization allegedly operated in a similar manner, working side-by-side at many of the same locations frequented by Derrick Ward’s network of dealers.

Investigators determined that Cashonn Spencer, also known as “Dread,” was often stationed at the Sun Hotel, serving an entirely separate group of customers from the Ward organization. 

Another member of the Jackson gang, Karim Jones, is accused of using the same Capouse Avenue home as a base for his own drug sales. Jones also allegedly served as an intermediary between the Jackson and Ward gangs, purchasing drugs and delivering money to both leaders and occasionally addressing concerns raised by either side.

Ryan said that agents identified several other mid-level dealers in the Jackson organization, including Ralph Kemper, also known as “Junior,” and Keyur Adhayapak, also known as “J Cool,” both of Scranton. Both the Ward and Jackson organizations allegedly supplied drugs to a wide-ranging group of street-level dealers and customers throughout the Scranton area.

Ryan said that crack cocaine was typically sold in $50 or $100 bags, which dealers labeled “small boys” or “big boys,” depending on the dollar value of the sale.  Marijuana was referred to as “blunt,” “spliff,” “sour” and other street names, based on the grading and quantities involved, while the term “eye drops” was used to discuss LSD.

Using court-ordered wire taps, surveillance, undercover operations and controlled purchases, agents tracked the flow of drugs and money through these two organizations. Ryan noted that between January and May 2011 investigators monitored more than 1,100 drug-related telephone conversations, providing an extremely detailed view of these particular drug operations.

Based on information developed during the investigation, Ryan said agents and local police officers began executing a series of search warrants and arrest warrants on Wednesday, May 18th in and around Scranton, targeting the residences of numerous suspected members of these drug organizations along with other locations linked to the gangs.

“This investigation demonstrates how effective cooperation between local, state and federal law enforcement can be in quickly targeting criminal organizations,” Ryan said. “We will continue to work together to vigorously attack the flow of illegal drugs into Pennsylvania communities and swiftly respond to violence that is often triggered by drug-related disputes.”  

The defendants will be prosecuted in Lackawanna County by Senior Deputy Attorney General Lawrence Cherba of the Attorney General’s Drug Strike Force Section along with Lackawanna County District Attorney Andrew J. Jarbola’s Office.

Ryan thanked the Lackawanna County District Attorney’s Office, Scranton Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Marshals Service, Pennsylvania State Police and the Pennsylvania Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement for their cooperation and assistance with this investigation.

A full list of the defendants and the charges filed against them is attached below:

–Derrick James Ward, age 35, 4070 Murdock Ave., Bronx, NY, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, along with one count each of criminal conspiracy to deliver cocaine, possession with intent to deliver cocaine, delivery of cocaine and criminal use of a communication facility.

–Quincy Buckley, aka “Q” or “Sunny,” age 31, 804 Herbert St., Scranton, is charged with two counts each of participating in a corrupt organization, criminal conspiracy to deliver cocaine and marijuana, possession with intent to deliver cocaine and marijuana and delivery of cocaine and marijuana, along with one count of criminal use of a communication facility.

–Rashad Roper, age 21, 4184 Wilder Ave., Bronx, NY, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, along with one count each of criminal conspiracy to deliver cocaine, possession with intent to deliver cocaine, delivery of cocaine and criminal use of a communication facility.

–Ransford Robinson, age 31, address unknown, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, along with one count each of criminal conspiracy to deliver cocaine, possession with intent to deliver cocaine, delivery of cocaine and criminal use of a communication facility.

–James Mendy, age 20, 3025 Cruger Ave., Bronx, NY, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, along with one count each of criminal conspiracy to deliver cocaine, possession with intent to deliver cocaine, delivery of cocaine and criminal use of a communication facility.

–Junior Jackson, aka “Horse,” age 30, address unknown, is charged with two counts each of participating in a corrupt organization, criminal conspiracy to deliver cocaine and marijuana, possession with intent to deliver cocaine and marijuana and delivery of cocaine and marijuana, along with one count of criminal use of a communication facility.

–Cashonn Spencer, aka “Dread,” age 32, 410 Cedar Ave., Scranton, is charged with two counts each of participating in a corrupt organization, criminal conspiracy to deliver cocaine and marijuana, possession with intent to deliver cocaine and marijuana and delivery of cocaine and marijuana, along with one count of criminal use of a communication facility.

–Karim Jones, aka “Reem” or “D,” age 25, 3913 Dereimer Ave, Bronx, NY, is charged with two counts each of participating in a corrupt organization, criminal conspiracy to deliver cocaine and marijuana, possession with intent to deliver cocaine and marijuana and delivery of cocaine and marijuana, along with one count of criminal use of a communication facility.

–Ralph Maurice Kemper, aka “Junior,” age 36, 825 Capouse St., Scranton, is charged with two counts each of participating in a corrupt organization, criminal conspiracy to deliver cocaine and marijuana, possession with intent to deliver cocaine and marijuana and delivery of cocaine and marijuana, along with one count of criminal use of a communication facility.

–Keyur Adhayapak, aka “J Cool,” age 19, 560 Adams Ave., Scranton, is charged with two counts each of participating in a corrupt organization, criminal conspiracy to deliver cocaine and marijuana, possession with intent to deliver cocaine and marijuana and delivery of cocaine and marijuana, along with one count of criminal use of a communication facility.

The following individuals were also charged in conjunction with this investigation:

–James Gonzalez, aka “Gonzo,” age 48, 353 Ferdinand St., Scranton, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, along with one count each of criminal conspiracy to deliver cocaine, possession with intent to deliver cocaine, delivery of cocaine and criminal use of a communication facility.

–Richard Griffin, age 55, 1513 Vine St., Scranton, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, along with one count each of criminal conspiracy to deliver cocaine and marijuana, possession with intent to deliver cocaine, delivery of cocaine and criminal use of a communication facility.

–Omar Guy, age 34,146 South Everett Ave., Scranton, is charged with two counts each of participating in a corrupt organization, criminal conspiracy to deliver cocaine and marijuana, possession with intent to deliver cocaine and marijuana, delivery of cocaine and marijuana, along with one count of criminal use of a communication facility.

–Kathryn Lachance, age 50, 126 Bromley Ave., Scranton, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, along with one count each of criminal conspiracy to deliver cocaine, possession with intent to deliver cocaine, delivery of cocaine and criminal use of a communication facility.

–Ricky Lloyd, age 47, 233 Ash St., Scranton, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, along with one count each of criminal conspiracy to deliver cocaine, possession with intent to deliver cocaine, delivery of cocaine and criminal use of a communication facility.

–Mary Beth Lloyd, age unknown, 233 Ash St., Scranton, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, along with one count each of criminal conspiracy to deliver cocaine, possession with intent to deliver cocaine, delivery of cocaine and criminal use of a communication facility.

–Paul Mancini, age 61, 216 Drinker St., Dunmore, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, along with one count each of criminal conspiracy to deliver cocaine, possession with intent to deliver cocaine, delivery of cocaine and criminal use of a communication facility.

–Jerome Marciniak, aka “Jerry,” age 48, 1717 Monroe Ave., Dunmore, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, along with one count each of criminal conspiracy to deliver cocaine, possession with intent to deliver cocaine, delivery of cocaine and criminal use of a communication facility.

–Joseph McAlister, age 54, 1035 Quincy Ave., Scranton, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, along with one count each of criminal conspiracy to deliver cocaine, possession with intent to deliver cocaine, delivery of cocaine and criminal use of a communication facility.

–Ralph Montalvo, aka “Prince,” age 35, 305 Willow St., Rear Apt. 1, Scranton, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, along with one count each of criminal conspiracy to deliver cocaine, possession with intent to deliver cocaine, delivery of cocaine and criminal use of a communication facility.

–Robin Mosser, age 29, 425 North Pennsylvania Ave., Wilkes-Barre, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, along with one count each of criminal conspiracy to deliver cocaine, possession with intent to deliver cocaine, delivery of cocaine and criminal use of a communication facility.

–Rita Perry, age unkown, 3247 Pittston Ave., Scranton, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, along with one count each of criminal conspiracy to deliver cocaine, possession with intent to deliver cocaine, delivery of cocaine and criminal use of a communication facility.

–Clarence Spady, age 49, 1718 Capouse St., Scranton, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, along with one count each of criminal conspiracy to deliver cocaine, possession with intent to deliver cocaine, delivery of cocaine and criminal use of a communication facility.

–Timothy Triola, age 47, address unknown, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, along with one count each of criminal conspiracy to deliver cocaine, possession with intent to deliver cocaine, delivery of cocaine and criminal use of a communication facility.

–Dion Walker, age 47, 424 Wyoming Ave., Scranton, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, along with one count each of criminal conspiracy to deliver cocaine, possession with intent to deliver cocaine, delivery of cocaine and criminal use of a communication facility.

–Roland Williams-Reyes, age 46, 233 Ash St., Scranton, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, along with one count each of criminal conspiracy to deliver cocaine, possession with intent to deliver cocaine, delivery of cocaine and criminal use of a communication facility.

–Willard Abram, age 51, 1011 Mount Vernon Ave., Scranton, is charged with one count each of criminal use of a communication facility, criminal solicitation to deliver cocaine and possession of cocaine.

–Michael Bishop, age 37, 409 Olive St., Scranton, is charged with one count each of criminal use of a communication facility, criminal solicitation to deliver marijuana and possession of marijuana.

–Susan Castiglioni, age 47, 525 Greenridge St., Scranton, is charged with one count each of criminal use of a communication facility, criminal solicitation to deliver cocaine and possession of cocaine.

–Thomas Flynn, age 58, 423 Prescott Ave., Scranton, is charged with one count each of criminal use of a communication facility, criminal solicitation to deliver cocaine and possession of cocaine.

–Joanne Gaetano, age 47, 509 4th St., Dunmore, is charged with one count each of criminal use of a communication facility, criminal solicitation to deliver cocaine and possession of cocaine.

–James Gleaton, age 52, 423 New St., Scranton, is charged with one count each of criminal use of a communication facility, criminal solicitation to deliver cocaine and possession of cocaine.

–Matthew Harding, age 40, 329 Spring St., Dunmore, is charged with one count each of criminal use of a communication facility, criminal solicitation to deliver cocaine and possession of cocaine.

–Edward Holmes, age 47, 410 Cedar Ave., Scranton, is charged with one count each of criminal use of a communication facility, criminal solicitation to deliver cocaine and possession of cocaine.

–Katherine Jones, age 33, 1612 Capouse Ave., Scranton, is charged with one count each of criminal use of a communication facility, criminal solicitation to deliver marijuana and possession of marijuana.

–Travis Mays, age 50, 1513 Jackson St., Scranton, is charged with one count each of criminal use of a communication facility, criminal solicitation to deliver cocaine and possession of cocaine.

–Steven Munic, age 44, 512 Chestnut St, Dunmore, is charged with one count each of criminal use of a communication facility, criminal solicitation to deliver cocaine and possession of cocaine.

–Robert Naslanic, age 46, 537 Wyoming Ave., Scranton, is charged with one count each of criminal use of a communication facility, criminal solicitation to deliver cocaine and possession of cocaine.

–Richard Nelli, age 50, 512 Chestnut St., Dunmore, is charged with one count each of criminal use of a communication facility, criminal solicitation to deliver cocaine and possession of cocaine.

–Lonnie Nelson, age 44, 717 Mill St., Dunmore, is charged with one count each of criminal use of a communication facility, criminal solicitation to deliver cocaine and possession of cocaine.

–William Propes, age 33, Rear 530 N. Filmore Ave., Scranton, is charged with one count each of criminal use of a communication facility, criminal solicitation to deliver cocaine and possession of cocaine.

–Joseph Solfanelli, 65, 220 Linden St., Scranton, is charged with one count each of criminal use of a communication facility, criminal solicitation to deliver cocaine and possession of cocaine.

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