NORRISTOWN PA – Criminal complaints were lodged Monday (Oct. 5, 2015) against five men who Montgomery County’s district attorney claims marketed heroin and cocaine by sending cell phone texts to groups of area addicts and attracting them to local hotel rooms – primarily in Lower Pottsgrove, Pottstown and Douglassville – where the addictive drugs were being sold.
Arrest warrants were issued for Tyrig Darnell Coleman, Martez Eric Cooper, Khaleaf Quinton Lindsay, Ryan Richard Conquest, and Tyrek Waples. DA Risa Vetri Ferman alleged they continued to operate a drug sales organization in western Montgomery County despite a crack-down during early June. They were arraigned Monday afternoon in the Pottstown courtroom of Magisterial District Justice Thomas A. Palladino.
Lower Pottsgrove Police Chief Michael Foltz and Pottstown Chief Richard Drumheller participated in the DA’s announcement that a large law enforcement effort had dismantled the trafficking operation.
The defendants relied in part on self-made advertising sent to a customer base embodied in lists of mobile phone recipients, Ferman said. The texts described “the types, stamps, and locations where heroin and cocaine could be purchased.” Sixty-six addicts were identified as buyers in the hotel room drug sales; 1,108 bags of heroin, 109 bags of cocaine, $5,419 in cash, two firearms, and 12 cell phones were seized.
The investigation included physical surveillance of hotels where detectives witnessed dozens
of individuals entering and exiting rooms where the drugs were sold. Their work, a time-consuming analysis of the texts, and tips from community residents and the father of a drug overdose victim all contributed to successes in the case so far, Ferman added.
Her office and local police “have made heroin trafficking investigations a high-priority,” according to Ferman, in part because “heroin-related overdoses of users are being seen throughout the county, she said. During the first five months of this year alone, 49 police calls involving heroin overdoses were reported to the DA’s office, and of those 21 resulted in the deaths of the addicts, Ferman added.