HARRISBURG – Attorney General narcotics agents arrested three men involved in a $1.6million cocaine distributing operation in Harrisburg. One of the accused is a Pennsylvania Department of Revenue employee.
Attorney General Tom Corbett said that this investigation, known as “Operation High Stakes,” put an end to John Hollins’ alleged distribution scheme, which had been operating since 1987.
“Agents identified Hollins as a significant cocaine dealer in the Harrisburg area,” Corbett said. “With today’s arrests we have dismantled an operation that had allegedly been running for more than 20 years and was responsible for the delivery of about 45 kilos of cocaine.”
Corbett said that Hollins, 48, Harrisburg, also known as “Holly Rock,” frequented casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and while he was away, allegedly used his associates as “runners” to deliver cocaine on his behalf.
Evidence of Hollins’ drug organization was initially presented to a statewide investigating grand jury in January of 2007. The grand jury recently recommended the criminal charges being filed today.
According to the grand jury, in October of 2006, narcotics agents set up a series of controlled cocaine purchases from Hollins. When Hollins was away, one of his associates, either Ronald Wadley, 53, Harrisburg, or Olujimi Duncan, who was shot and killed in August 2007 in an unrelated incident, would make the deliveries.
When Hollins was out of town, the money from the drug sales was usually wired via Western Union to Hollins or his girlfriend, Leslie Lawson, in Atlantic City. Hollins instructed his associates to keep the amounts under $1,000 so that they wouldn’t be asked by Western Union for identification.
According to the grand jury, Robert Wilkerson, 47, Harrisburg, who is employed by the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue as a tax assistant collection technician, also assisted Hollins by receiving money from one of the other associates and wiring it to Atlantic City.
The charges state that Wadley sent 20 wire transfers to Hollins totaling approximately $19,000 between January 2004 and November 2006. During the same time period, Wadley also sent 22 wires to Lawson totaling $19,280.
Wilkerson sent 23 wires to Hollins totaling $17,850 between September 2003 and November 2006. During the same time period, Wilkerson sent five wires to Lawson totaling $4,500.
Corbett thanked the New Jersey State Police Casino Gaming Bureau Financial Crimes Investigation Unit for their assistance with the investigation. Corbett also thanked the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General.
The case will be prosecuted in Dauphin County by Senior Deputy Attorney General Heather Adams of the Attorney General’s Drug Strike Force Section. The defendants will be preliminarily arraigned before Harrisburg Magisterial District Judge George Zozos.
Below is a full list of the defendants and the charges against them:
— John Hollins III, 48, Harrisburg, is charged with 11 counts of delivery of cocaine, one count of criminal conspiracy, one count of criminal use of a communications facility, one count of corrupt organizations and one count of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity.
— Ronald Wadley, 53, Harrisburg, is charged with 43 counts of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity, 43 counts of criminal use of a communications facility, two counts of delivery of cocaine, one count of criminal conspiracy to deliver and one count of corrupt organizations.
— Robert Wilkerson, 47, Harrisburg, is charged with 25 counts of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity, 25 counts of criminal use of a communications facility and one count of corrupt organizations.
— John Hollins and Leslie Lawson are also being charged in New Jersey with first degree money laundering charges as a result of an investigation by the New Jersey State Police Casino Gaming Bureau Financial Crimes Investigation Unit.