AG Announces Break Up of Philly-to-State College Cocaine Ring

STATE COLLEGE – Five men were charged today by state narcotics agents with participating in a $1 million cocaine ring that stretched from Delaware County and Philadelphia to State College.

Attorney General Tom Corbett said the investigation, known as “Operation Rhoade Block,” began in January 2009 and focused on the distribution of several hundred ounces of cocaine in the State College area.

Evidence and testimony regarding the alleged drug activity was presented to a statewide investigating grand jury, which recommended the criminal charges being filed today.

Agents estimate that this group of suspects was responsible for bringing approximately $1 million dollars worth of cocaine into the Centre County area since 2008, and that since the investigation began in 2009, the organization distributed approximately 20 pounds of cocaine.

According to the grand jury, Andre Spangler and Brian King, both of Media, Delaware County, delivered cocaine to local dealers in the Centre County area, identified as James Losch and Edwin Rhoades, who distributed the drugs to other Centre County residents.

According to the grand jury, Losch and Rhoades received multiple ounces of cocaine at a time. Losch and Rhoades allegedly received deliveries in State College, but also traveled to Harrisburg or Delaware County to purchase cocaine for re-distribution in the Centre County area.

The grand jury found that Spangler used rental vehicles to make his cocaine deliveries to State College.

As the investigation progressed, court-authorized wiretaps were approved to determine the scope of the organization and help identify suppliers.

Corbett said that Hasan Bradley, of New Jersey, was identified as one of Spangler’s main cocaine suppliers.

According to the grand jury, the wiretaps revealed that Bradley and Spangler talked regularly and often discussed cocaine transactions, cocaine quality, “cutting” cocaine, prices, or troubles acquiring cocaine because of its popularity.

Corbett said that Bradley and Spangler referred to cocaine as “that funny-looking bitch,” “the work,” “jawn,” “baby jawns,” and “funny-looking stuff.”

Corbett said that agents arranged a series of undercover purchases between June 11 and Sept. 11, 2009. These cocaine buys ranged in quantity anywhere from two and three-quarter ounces to nine ounces and cost anywhere from $2,200 to $6,600.

“Drug dealers, like the ones arrested today, know that there is a strong demand for drugs in both college and rural communities,” Corbett said. “No community, large or small – urban or rural, is immune from drug abuse and drug trafficking. Drug suppliers will move anywhere there is a demand for their product.”

The case will be prosecuted in Centre County by Senior Deputy Attorney General Patrick Leonard of the Attorney General’s Drug Strike Force Section.

Corbett thanked the State College Police Department, Bellefonte Borough Police Department, Ferguson Township Police Department, Patton Township Police Department, Spring Township Police Department, Blair County District Attorney’s Office, Centre County District Attorney’s Office, Snyder County District Attorney’s Office, Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office and the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office for their assistance with the investigation.

Below is a list of the defendants and the charges against them.

Andre Spangler, 30, Media, is charged with 34 counts of delivery of cocaine, six counts of criminal conspiracy, three counts of possession with the intent to deliver cocaine, two counts of corrupt organization and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.

Hasan Bradley, 29, Deptford, New Jersey, is charged with five counts of delivery of cocaine, two counts of corrupt organization, one count of criminal conspiracy and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.

Brian King, 27, Media, is charged with six counts of criminal conspiracy, four counts of delivery of cocaine, two counts of corrupt organization, one count of possession with the intent to deliver cocaine and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.

James Losch, 47, Howard, is charged with nine counts of delivery and or possession with the intent to deliver cocaine, two counts of corrupt organization, one count of criminal conspiracy and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.

Edwin Rhoades, 38, Centre Hall, is charged with 10 counts of delivery and or possession with the intent to deliver cocaine, two counts of corrupt organization, one count of criminal conspiracy and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.

CBPD Asking for Public's Help in Suspect Identification
DuBois Pedestrian Struck by Vehicle, Police Investigating

Leave a Reply