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Ivyland Woman Caught in Major Meth-Ring Bust

All defendants will be prosecuted in Bucks County by the Chief Deputy Attorney General.

A four-year undercover investigation has resulted in the indictments of 27 people suspected of links to a crystal methamphetamine trafficking operation that stretched from Mexico and Texas and took root in Bucks, Montgomery, Berks, Lehigh and Tioga counties. Officials believe that the large network is responsible for the distribution of more than $3.5 million worth of crystal meth in southeastern and northern Pennsylvania.

At a press conference Wednesday morning, Attorney General Linda Kelly thanked the detectives and officers from the multiple state and local agencies that participated in the investigation, called "Operation Blowout."

"This was a total team effort by all of the departments involved," said Kelly.

Evidence obtained through undercover drug buys, wiretaps and other court-authorized surveillance was presented to a grand jury in 2011, which came back in September 2012 with multiple criminal charges for each suspect.

Kelly, Noonan and Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler acknowledged the work of officers from police departments in Philadelphia, Bristol, Doylestown, Muhlenberg, Pottstown, Oley, Athens, New Hanover, the Philadelphia division of the DEA and Delaware State Police.

The operation seized more than four pounds of crystal meth, one partially dismantled cyrstal meth lab, approximately 100 firearms, $110,000 cash and 16 vehicles.

"I want to compliment the heads up work done by all of the departments," said Heckler. "This is a case were a group of capable professionals worked together with complete cooperation."

Officers arrested 25 of the 27 suspects Tuesday and brought them before Magisterial Judge Daniel Baranoski for preliminary arraignments. Two of the suspects remain at large, Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan confirmed at the press conference, with one arrest imminent and the other's whereabouts currently unknown.

All defendants will be prosecuted in Bucks County by Chief Deputy Attorney General Andrew Rongaus, who told reporters that Bucks County was chosen because 65 percent of the suspects are from there.

According to a release by the Attorney General's office, the investigation originally started when separate undercover drug buys traced back to Robert Snyder of Pottstown and Wesley White of Roaring Branch in Tioga County and showed similarities, prompting the formation of Operation Blowout. Further investigation unraveled the complex network, revealing suspected suppliers and smaller drug rings that branched off.

The investigators say that one of White's major suppliers was John Hodgson, 62, of Levittown. He is also accused of running a smaller crystal meth ring with six other suspects in Bucks County, including his brother, Joseph, 65, of Yardley, John McDonald, 61, who remains at large, Sherwood White, 63, of Levittown, Nancy Diaz, 53, of Levittown, Tina Erb, 51 of Bensalem and Elizabeth Naylon, 46, of Ivyland.

During the investigation, detectives say they discovered a broken down meth lab at a storage locker owned by Hodgson. Rongaus said that while there is no evidence that the four pounds of crystal meth confiscated by officers came from the meth lab, it was clear from the materials that drugs had been manufactured at that location.

The list of defendants and the charges against them are included below:

Suspect name

Town

Charges

Robert Snyder, 53

Pottstown

Two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, 20 counts of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, unlawful use of a communications facility, unlawful possession of a firearm, dealing in unlawful proceeds and related offenses.

Wesley White, 53

Roaring Branch

Two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, 20 counts of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, unlawful use of a communications facility, dealing in unlawful proceeds and related offenses.

Raul Cosme, 38

Reading

Two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, 20 counts of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, unlawful use of a communications facility, dealing in unlawful proceeds and related offenses.

Sherwood White, 63

Levittown

Two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, two counts of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, dealing in unlawful proceeds and related offenses.

John Hodgson, 62

Levittown

Two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, 20 counts of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, unlawful use of a communications facility, dealing in unlawful proceeds and related offenses.

Francis Gulich

Philadelphia

Two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, 20 counts of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, unlawful use of a communications facility, dealing in unlawful proceeds and related offenses.

Sim Bradley

Philadelphia

Two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, 20 counts of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, unlawful use of a communications facility, dealing in unlawful proceeds and related offenses.

Marlene Albrecht, 46

Bristol

Two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, six counts of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, unlawful use of a communications facility, dealing in unlawful proceeds and related offenses.

Joseph Bogner, 47

Bristol

One count of possession of a controlled substance, unlawful use of a communications facility and related offenses.

Dean Bowers, 46

Doylestown

Two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, 16 counts of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, unlawful use of a communications facility, dealing in unlawful proceeds and related offenses.

Grady Dennis Jr., 46

Willow Grove

Two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, two counts of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, unlawful use of a communications facility, dealing in unlawful proceeds and related offenses.

Nancy Diaz, 53

Levittown

Two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, 12 counts of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, unlawful use of a communications facility, dealing in unlawful proceeds and related offenses.

Joseph Hodgson, 65

Yardley

Two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, criminal conspiracy, unlawful use of a communications facility, dealing in unlawful proceeds and related offenses.

Scott Hopkinson, 42

Levittown

Two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, nine counts of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, unlawful use of a communications facility, dealing in unlawful proceeds and related offenses.

Barbara Kasper, 39

Levittown

One count of possession of a controlled substance.

Mark Kasper, 39

Levittown

Two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, two counts of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, unlawful use of a communications facility, dealing in unlawful proceeds and related offenses.

John McDonald, 61

Morrisville

Two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, two counts of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, unlawful use of a communications facility, dealing in unlawful proceeds and related offenses.

Elizabeth Naylon, 46

Ivyland

Two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, 13 counts of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, unlawful use of a communications facility, dealing in unlawful proceeds and related offenses.

Joseph Ragnoli, 44

Wycombe

Two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, 21 counts of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, unlawful use of a communications facility, dealing in unlawful proceeds and related offenses.

Judson Route, 52

Roaring Branch

Two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, seven counts of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, unlawful use of a communications facility, dealing in unlawful proceeds and related offenses.

Alexander Schepelenko, 66

Morrisville

One count of possession of a controlled substance, unlawful use of a communications facility and related offenses.

James Howard Simmers Sr.

Levittown

Two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, two counts of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, unlawful use of a communications facility, dealing in unlawful proceeds and related offenses.

John Taylor, 53

Churchville

Two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, 16 counts of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, unlawful use of a communications facility, dealing in unlawful proceeds and related offenses.

Jeffrey Taylor, 53

Alsace Township

Two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, 11 counts of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, unlawful use of a communications facility, dealing in unlawful proceeds and related offenses.

Phillip Tomasella, 40

Levittown

One count of possession of a controlled substance, unlawful use of a communications facility and related offenses.

Tina Marie Wagner-Erb, 51

Bensalem

Two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, eight counts of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, unlawful use of a communications facility, dealing in unlawful proceeds and related offenses.

Lee Scott Wasser, 47

Perkasie

Two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, two counts of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, unlawful use of a communications facility, dealing in unlawful proceeds and related offenses.

The foregoing arrest information was supplied by the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General. It does not indicate a conviction.

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