JOHNSTOWN — Thirty-eight residents of Centre, Clearfield, Clinton and Erie counties have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Johnstown on charges of violating federal narcotics laws, money laundering, and unlawful possession of firearms, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced. The defendants were arrested Tuesday by federal, state and local law enforcement.
This case involved large quantities of meth from Mexico moving through Atlanta and then to Erie for distribution across northern and north central counties.
“Methamphetamine presents a clear and present danger to the safety and well-being of our western communities,” said U.S. Attorney Brady. “This indictment represents the largest drug investigation and prosecution in the history of Clearfield County, and we have successfully dismantled an organization bringing kilo quantities of meth from Atlanta for distribution throughout northcentral PA. I want to thank DA Sayers for his partnership, and for his leadership in dismantling drug organizations that would come to Clearfield and poison our friends and neighbors.”
“DEA Pittsburgh is proud of the partnership with the state police and ATF,” Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration Paris Pratt said. “Even during this COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve worked diligently on this crystal methamphetamine case in Clearfield and Erie counties.”
“This was a great team effort between the state police, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the United States Attorney’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives,” said Major Stephen K. Eberle of the state police. “For the past 18 months troopers and agents involved with this investigation worked tirelessly to identify and dismantle a large and well organized network responsible for the distribution of methamphetamine throughout central and northwestern . The State Police and its law enforcement partners remain committed to combating this type of illegal drug trade plaguing our communities.”
“Today is a great day for Clearfield County thanks to the hard work of US Attorney Brady, his staff, the DEA, the ATF and the State Police,” Clearfield County District Attorney Ryan P. Sayers said. “This is hopefully the first of many operations and partnerships to combat the drugs that are plaguing the county.”
The 10-count indictment, returned on May 19 and unsealed Friday, named:
- John Christopher Bisbee, 40, of 113 Hill Road, Erie.
- Ronald Bean, 55, of 1685 Main St., Winburne
- Kierston Bell, 32, of 50 White Road, Clearfield
- Jonathan Bierly, 48, of 261 N. Mill St., Loganton
- Alexis Brolin, Jr., 51, of 1617 Old Turnpike Road, Allport
- Tammie Brolin, 52, of 1617 Old Turnpike Road, Allport
- Toby Lee Coker, 35, SCI Albion
- John Cyphert, 59, of 106 Brenda St., Centre Hall,
- Timothy Ferguson, 32, of 424 Sheffield St., Philipsburg
- Nicole Gaines, 40, of 108 Bigler Ave., Apt. 4, Clearfield
- Amber Gallaher, 28, of 2412 Pinetop Road, Woodland
- Brian Gidney, 46, of 192 Old Camp Road, Mineral Spring
- Davin Gower, 26, of 75 Short St., Morrisdale
- Mark Hackett, 32, of 60 Graham Road, Woodland
- Shane Hoover, 28, of 3643 Morrisdale Allport Hwy, Morrisdale
- David Klanish, 49, of 108 Loch Lomond Road, Apt. B, Philipsburg
- Andrew Knepp, 42, of 108 Bigler Avenue, Apt. 4, Clearfield
- Michael Lamb, 45, of 4926 Morrisdale Allport Hwy, Morrisdale
- Chad Lawhead, 47, of 318 Williams Street, Clearfield
- Brittany Luzier, 26, of 32 Ester Lane, Clearfield
- Logan Mactavish, 37, of 41 Pine Air Court, Clearfield
- Evarie Magee, 36, of 1017 West 8th Street, Erie
- Keegan McChesney, 22, of 2525 Ashland Road, Osceola Mills
- John McKinney, 51, of 1322 Robinson Avenue, Hyde
- Robert Morgret, 56, of 265 E Sylvan Avenue, PO Box 21, Avis
- Jared Nyman, 22, of 610 E Bald Eagle Street, Apt. 4, Lock Haven
- Robert Nyman, 58, of 27 Wagners Lane, Mill Hall
- Timothy Perry, 37, of 5005 Zuck Road, Lot 117, Erie
- Jennifer Quick, 46, of 4309 Morrisdale Allport Hwy, Morrisdale
- Joshua Quigley, 41, of 2789 Egypt Road, Woodland
- Dennis James Rauch, 35, of 32 Ester Lane, Clearfield
- Joanna Shylock, 32, of 262 Caleb Street, PO Box 5, Houtzdale
- David Richard Smith, 43, of 371 State Street, PO Box 63, Sandy Ridge
- Jeffrey Swanson, 50, of 806 Martins Road, Houtzdale
- Jessica Szymecki, 36, of 1128 Buffalo Road, Erie
- Cassandra Wallace, 35, of 60 Graham Road, Woodland
- Miranda Williams, 46, of 631 Laura Street, Phillipsburg
- Shawn Workman, 41, of 291 3rd Street, Brownsville
John Christopher Bisbee and Alexis Brolin, Jr. are charged at count one with participating in a continuing criminal enterprise as principal administrator that involves 1,000 grams or more of methamphetamine or 10 kilograms or more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine, from July 2019 to June 2020. The statute calls for a mandatory sentence of life in prison.
The Indictment charges all defendants, with the exception of Evarie Magee, with count two, conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine or a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine, a Schedule II controlled substance, from July 2019 to June 2020, in the Western District of Pennsylvania. The statue calls for a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison.
John Christopher Bisbee, Alexis Brolin Jr., Jonathan Bierley and Evarie Magee are charged at count three with conspiracy to commit money laundering from July 2019 to June 2020. The statute calls for a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Alexis Brolin Jr. is charged at count four, unlawful possession of a firearm or ammunition by a convicted felon in and around and between July 2019 and April 4, 2020. He is also charged at count five, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime in and around and between July 2019 and April 4, 2020. The statutes call for a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for the felon in possession charge and a minimum sentence of five years in prison for possession in furtherance of a drug crime charge.
Dennis James Rauch is charged at counts six and seven with unlawful possession of a firearm or ammunition by a convicted felon, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, in and around March 2020. He is also charged with count ten with possession with intent to distribute and/or distribution of methamphetamine or a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine on March 14. The statutes call for a maximum sentence of ten years of incarceration and a minimum sentence of five years of incarceration, respectively.
Toby Lee Coker is charged at count eight with possession with intent to distribute and/or distribution of methamphetamine or a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine on Feb. 20. The statute calls for a maximum sentence of 30 years of incarceration.
Mark Hackett is charged at count nine with possession with intent to distribute and/or distribution of methamphetamine or a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine on Dec. 18, 2019. That statute calls for a mandatory minimum sentence of five years of incarceration.
Law enforcement continues to seek defendants Brittany Luzier, Timothy Perry, Dennis Rauch and Jessica Szymecki. Anyone with information regarding their location should contact the Pennsylvania State Police Clearfield Barracks at 814-857-3800.
Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendants.
Assistant United States Attorney Maureen Sheehan-Balchon is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Drug Enforcement Administration and the State Police led the investigation leading to the Indictment in this case. Additional agencies participating in this investigation include the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, the United States Postal Inspection Service, Homeland Security Investigations, Office of the Attorney General, Clearfield County District Attorney’s Office, Erie County District Attorney’s Office, Millcreek Police Department, Erie Bureau of Police, and other local law enforcement agencies.
This case is part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force program, known as OCDETF. OCDETF was established in 1982 to support comprehensive investigations and prosecutions of major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations. It is the keystone of the drug reduction strategy of the Department of Justice. By combining the resources and expertise of federal agencies and their state and local law enforcement partners, OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the most serious drug trafficking, money laundering, and transnational criminal organizations.
An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.