Wiretaps Lead To Bust Of Local Meth Operation
A total of 32 suspects were arrested in connection with a methamphetamine distribution network which spanned from northern Montgomery County to Philadelphia.
Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Ferman has announced the arrest of 32 suspects in connection with a large-scale methamphetamine trafficking operation, which spanned from northern Montgomery County to Philadelphia and included 12 residents of Lansdale Borough and Hatfield, Towamencin, Montgomery and Upper Gwynedd townships.
Methamphetamine was recovered from a motorcycle repair shop in Lansdale, according to the report, just one of many locations where police executed a search warrant.
One of those arrested in charged with drug violations include Ronald Krauss, owner of Bad Ronald's Custom Tattooing in Lansdale.
The investigation began in 2011, when detectives from the district attorney's Narcotics Enforcement Team were tipped off to the alleged drug trafficking activities of Hatfield residents Frank Messina, Jeffrey Penna and David Penna, as well as Troy Dudas, of Limerick Township. Based on information gathered during the investigation, authorities were able to secure the use of wiretaps and electronic surveillance on the cell phones of Messina and Dudas from Feb. 8, 2012, through Feb. 29, 2012.
As a result of the surveillance, 14 search warrants were executed across Montgomery and Philadelphia counties, where authorities were able to recover quantities of methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia and firearms.
One of the locations was Cosmo Motors, an auto shop located at 101 East Blaine St. in Lansdale, where Messina worked. Cosmo Motors is a motorcycle and vehicle wholesale parts, distribution and repair facility.
According to the press release, the structure of the organization consisted of "meth distributers, users, and pushers." The release also states that the main targets were brothers Jeffrey and Devid Penna, who "used and distributed methamphetamine from Jeffrey Penna's residence in Hatfield Township."
The release states that the Penna brothers were later joined by Messina, who allegedly used and distributed methamphetamine, including to his own sister, Lisa Messina. Authorities were able to intercept conversations between Messina and his sister, which detailed "their method of operation in the distribution and use of [methamphetamine]."
The release also states that the investigation revealed links to a methamphetamine distribution network in Philadelphia, which was allegedly headed by brothers Juan and Antonio Encarnacion.
The suspects were arraigned on Wednesday, May 2, and Friday, May 4, by Magisterial District Judge Andrea Duffy, and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 11, at 10 a.m.
The following were charged with Felony Corrupt Organizations and Violations of the Drug Act:
- Francesco “Frank” Messina, 719 Schwab Road, Hatfield Township
- Troy Dudas, 111 Mine Run Road, Limerick Township
- Todd Slawecki, 42 Orchard Court, Royersford, Upper Providence Township
- Robert Glorioso, 1295 Cabin Road, Hatfield Township
- Jeff Penna, 1295 Cabin Road, Hatfield Township
- Dave Penna, 1898 Valley Forge Road, Towamencin Township
- Jeff Martinez, 3822 North 6th St., Philadelphia
- James Trull, 1447 Old Skippack Road, Upper Salford Township
- Antonio Encarnacion Perales, 1002 N. Marshall St. 2nd floor, Philadelphia
- Vanessa Ramos, 1002 N. Marshall St. 2nd floor, Philadelphia
- Juan M.Encarnacion, 3921 N. 6th St. Philadelphia,
- Kent Lee Seprauskie “Gadget”, 55 Meng Road, Limerick Township
- Timothy Beck, 55 Meng Road, Limerick Township
- Kristina Popelarski, 385 Greenwood Ave., Upper Providence Township
- Joel Jay Payumo, aka Marissa Devine, 251 E. Thompson St., Philadelphia
- Joseph “Phoenix” Croxton, 1734 Tasker St., Floor 1, Philadelphia
- Dan Ells, 225 East 2nd St. Apartment B, Lansdale
- Rodney Creciun, 108 Stump Road, Montgomery Township
- John Griffith, 1626 Sheffield Drive, Whitpain Township
The following defendants were charged with Misdemeanor Violations of the Drug Act:
- Ronald Krauss, 10 South Towamencin Ave., Lansdale
- Jamie L. Hamburg, 27 Lincoln Ave. Floor 2, Lansdale
- Anthony LaGrotte, 149 North 3rd St., Telford
- Carmen Iannelli, 2382 Orchard Lane, New Hanover Township
- John J. Welsh III, 1150 Schwab Road, Hatfield Township
- Lisa Messina, 2564 Morris Road, Worcester Township
- Donald L Preston, 72 Roboda Boulevard, Upper Providence Township
- Kevin Saldutti, 1415 East Hewson St., Philadelphia
- Ryan Burns, 804 Marlbrook Lane, Upper Gwynedd (Madison at Willowyck)
- Norman R. Russell Jr., 3275 Bergey Road, Hatfield Township
- Thomas McGoldrick, 1 Boro Line Road, King of Prussia
- Keith Chasteen, 251 E. Thompson St., Philadelphia
- Judy Cress, 913 Township Line Road, Phoenixville