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Stowe, Pottstown Drug Probes End In Arrests

Bags of heroin allegedly found in drug investigations in Stowe and Pottstown; and the two individuals arraigned Saturday, Melissa Griffin and Dashawn Smith

NORRISTOWN PA – A criminal investigation conducted by the West Pottsgrove and Pottstown police departments and the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office resulted in arraignment of two individuals charged with heroin trafficking and a variety of other offenses that allegedly occurred in Stowe and the borough since November, according to an announcement issued Monday (Dec. 21, 2015).

County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said the drug probes led in part by West Pottsgrove Chief Matthew Stofflet and Pottstown Chief F. Richard Drumheller, and assisted by the DA’s Drug Task Force and Violent Crime Unit, had resulted in the arrests of Dashawn Smith of Pottstown and Melissa Griffin, formerly of Stowe, on a long list of charges.

They are scheduled for a Jan. 12 (2016) preliminary hearing in the Pottstown courtroom of Magisterial District Justice Thomas A. Palladino.

In a press release, Ferman indicated the investigation had taken place over several months:

On Nov. 28, according to the release, West Pottsgrove officers responded to 416 E. Vine St., Stowe, for a report of a burglary and a man with a gun. They subsequently alleged Smith had burglarized the residence and during the incident held a gun to the head of Griffin, his then ex-girlfriend. An arrest warrant was issued for Smith, it said.

At about the same time Pottstown and the Drug Task Force were separately looking into Smith for alleged heroin distribution. They combined information, and together determined Smith was a dealer trafficking heroin and engaged in violent activity, Ferman said. That’s when the Violent Crime Unit joined the probe, she added.

Sometime between then and this week, investigators reported, Smith and Griffin apparently patched up whatever differences they had. The two, now sharing company, were spotted Thursday (Dec. 17) by a surveillance team entering a home at 3 W. 4th St. in Pottstown. Smith left there a short time later, and police moved to arrest him for the November incident.

He fled, they charged, and in the process allegedly attempted to discard heroin. Smith ultimately was placed in custody, but two officers were said to have been injured during the capture.

With search and seizure warrants in hand, the teams then combed through both the Stowe and Pottstown locations used by Smith and Griffin. Ferman claimed they seized more than 1,200 bags of heroin with a street value of about $13,000, another $5,842 in cash, a taser, and five cell phones. Griffin was found in a room with a substantial amount of heroin, police alleged.

They were arraigned Saturday (Dec. 19), with bail set at $2.5 million for Smith, and $250,000 for Griffin. The case will be prosecuted by county Assistant DA Kathleen McLaughlin, Ferman said.

Photos from the Montgomery County District Attorney

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