|
|
News Eagle - Hawley, PA
  •  Waymart based cocaine ring busted

    • email print
      Comment
  • Operation points to Red Maple Golf Course
    HARRISBURG - As part of a 2- year investigation into cocaine trafficking, the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General's Bureau of Narcotics Investigation (BNI) filed charges against 20 suspected drug dealers. The investigation known as "Operation Penalty Stroke" exposed a $1.4 million Bronx, N.Y. to Northeastern PA cocaine trafficking ring. The Red Maples Golf Course, located south of Waymart, PA, was identified as a primary drug distribution point.
    "Trafficking illegal drugs across our borders is a serious problem for our communities." said Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane. "Drug dealers intentionally poison our streets and must be held fully accountable for breaking our laws."
    Evidence and testimony regarding the alleged cocaine trafficking was presented to a statewide investigating grand jury, which recommended the criminal charges being filed against the 20-person drug-trafficking operation.
    The grand jury identified one of the leaders in the operation as Angelo Pozza, the owner of the Red Maples Golf Course. Pozza was allegedly obtaining large quantities of cocaine from Catherine "Cathy" Gabriel, another primary suspect in the 20-person drug-trafficking operation.
    During of the course of the investigation, narcotics agents made a series of 14 controlled purchases from Pozza at the Red Maples Golf Course. As the investigation unfolded, court-authorized wire taps were approved in February 2012, which revealed the scope of the organization and its suppliers.
    The grand jury found that Pozza used the golf course as the primary base of operations for the cocaine trafficking operation, and sold a minimum of $300,000 worth of the cocaine, which he allegedly obtained from Gabriel. Agents believe that Gabriel is responsible for trafficking approximately 15,000 grams of cocaine with an estimated street value of more than $1.4 million into Pennsylvania from the Bronx, NY over the past two years.
    Agents noted that both Pozza and Gabriel had regular customers throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania, who purchased various amounts of cocaine for either personal use or additional redistribution.
    On July 3, 2012, the Office of Attorney General's Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section filed an Application for Seizure in Wayne County Court of Common Pleas against Pozza's assets and seized more than $48,000, and the 9-hole Red Maples Golf Course, which includes 136 acres, Pozza's residence, club house and a garage.
    The Office of Attorney General thanked the FBI - Scranton, the Lackawanna County District Attorney's Office and the Wayne County District Attorney's Office for their assistance with the investigation.
    The case will be prosecuted in Wayne County by Deputy Attorney General Timothy Doherty of the Attorney General's Drug Strike Force Section.
    DEFENDANTS
    Below is a complete list of the defendants and the charges against them.
    --Catherine Gabriel, 47, 417 Justus Blvd., Scott Township, Lackawanna County, PA, is charged with two counts of corrupt organizations, two counts of delivery of cocaine, two counts of possession with the intent to deliver cocaine, one count of criminal conspiracy to deliver cocaine, one count of criminal conspiracy to possess with the intent to deliver cocaine, one count of criminal conspiracy to possess cocaine, one count of possession of cocaine, and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.
    Page 2 of 3 - --Angelo Pozza, 76, 2322 Easton Turnpike, Waymart, Wayne County, PA, is charged with 15 counts of delivery of cocaine, 15 counts of possession with the intent to deliver cocaine, 15 counts of possession of cocaine, two counts of corrupt organizations, one count of criminal conspiracy to deliver cocaine, one count of criminal conspiracy to possess with the intent to deliver cocaine, one count of criminal conspiracy to possess cocaine, and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.
    --Michael Yeager, 47, 414 Adams Ave., Scranton, Lackawanna County, PA, is charged with one count of criminal conspiracy to possess with the intent to deliver cocaine, one count of possession of cocaine, and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.
    --Kevin Wilson, 50, 200 Sunrise Ave., Trailer 14, Honesdale, Wayne County, PA, is charged with one count of criminal conspiracy to possess with the intent to deliver cocaine, one count of possession with the intent to deliver cocaine, one count of possession of cocaine, and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.
    --Christine Bassett, 43, 200 Sunrise Ave., Trailer 14, Honesdale, Wayne County, PA, is charged with one count of criminal conspiracy to possess with the intent to deliver cocaine and one count of possession of cocaine.
    --John "Jack" Waibel, 34, 127 7th Ave., Carbondale, Lackawanna County, PA, is charged with one count of criminal conspiracy to possess with the intent to deliver cocaine and one count of possession of cocaine.
    --Eric Ubaldini, 37, 164 S. Bromley Ave., Scranton, Lackawanna County, PA, is charged with one count of criminal conspiracy to possess with the intent to deliver cocaine, one count of possession of cocaine, and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.
    --Jason Rudalavage, 35, 699 Third St., Eynon, Lackawanna County, PA, is charged with one count of criminal conspiracy to possess with the intent to deliver cocaine, one count of possession of cocaine, and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.
    --Erica Vitaletti-Puteri, 42, 9 Gabriella Lane, Clarks Summit, Lackawanna County, PA, is charged with one count of criminal conspiracy to possess with the intent to deliver cocaine, one count of possession with the intent to deliver cocaine, one count of possession of cocaine, and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.
    --Frank Hoover, 49, 331 10th Ave., Scranton, Lackawanna County, PA, is charged with one count of criminal conspiracy to possess with the intent to deliver cocaine, one count of possession of cocaine, and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.
    --John Fofi, 33, 49 Plum St., Carbondale, Lackawanna County, PA, is charged with one count of criminal conspiracy to possess with the intent to deliver cocaine, one count of possession of cocaine, and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.
    --W. Thomas Gutjahr, 36, 4045 Ives Park, Lot 5, Madison Township, Wayne County, PA, is charged with one count of criminal conspiracy to possess with the intent to deliver cocaine, one count of delivery of cocaine, one count of possession with the intent to deliver cocaine, one count of possession of cocaine, one count of delivery of Dihydrocodeinone, one count of possession with the intent to deliver Dihydrocodeinone, one count of possession of Dihydrocodeinone, and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.
    Page 3 of 3 - --Courtney Gutjahr, 36, 4045 Ives Park, Lot 5, Madison Township, Wayne County, PA, is charged with one count of criminal conspiracy to possess with the intent to deliver cocaine and one count of possession of cocaine.
    --Donald Edwards Jr., 45, Clifford Hotel, 59 Main St., Clifford, Susquehanna County, PA, is charged with one count of criminal conspiracy to possess with the intent to deliver cocaine, one count of possession of cocaine, and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.
    --Michael Carroll, 32, 19 Frank St., Carbondale, Lackawanna County, PA, is charged with one count of criminal conspiracy to possess with the intent to deliver cocaine and one count of possession of cocaine.
    --Brian Petrosky, 36, 601 Main St., Simpson, Lackawanna County, PA, is charged with one count of criminal conspiracy to possess with the intent to deliver cocaine, one count of delivery of cocaine, one count of possession with the intent to deliver cocaine, and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.
    --Karen Davis, 49, Rear 536 Fig St., Apt. 1, Scranton, Lackawanna County, PA, is charged with one count of criminal conspiracy to possess with the intent to deliver cocaine, one count of possession of cocaine, and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.
    --Jeffrey Katchmore, 37, 79 Washington St., Carbondale, Lackawanna County, PA, is charged with one count of criminal conspiracy to deliver cocaine, one count of delivery of cocaine, one count of possession with the intent to deliver cocaine, one count of possession of cocaine, and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.
    --Michael Grizzanti, 42, 106 43rd St., Carbondale, Lackawanna County, PA, is charged with one count of possession of cocaine and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.
    --Joseph Howard Jr., 45, 701 Cemetery St., Mayfield, Lackawanna County, PA, is charged with one count of criminal conspiracy to deliver cocaine, one count of delivery of cocaine, one count of possession with the intent to deliver cocaine, one count of possession of cocaine, and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.

        calendar