The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

May 18, 2012

Drug ring busted

— Just-unsealed court papers document a 15-person drug ring and the key role allegedly played by a pusher at his Bedford Street “stash house” for heroin.

Federal authorities this week termed the ring a “large-scale drug trafficking scheme” that operated in Cambria, Indiana and Westmoreland counties but was directed from Detroit.

Among those arrested were ringleader Kenneth I. “Kane” Carter of Detroit; so-called supervisor Dewann J. “Woods” Macon of Blairsville and Jelina M. “Gino” Cook, 20, of the 600 block of Bedford Street, Johnstown.

Papers unsealed in U.S. District Court in Johnstown offer details about what authorities found through court-approved wiretaps in April and May:

• That Carter was in contact with the heroin supplier, and Cook drove the drugs from Detroit to his Bedford Street home.

“Gino lives at the stash house and he is responsible for breaking down the heroin into individual packs for resale,” court documents said.

“Woods is driven to the stash house on Bedford Street to pick up the drugs and transport them back to Woods’ residence/stash house located (on) Stoney Run Road, Blairsville.”

• That Cook and Macon earned $1,000 per week salary from Carter. “Woods pays drivers $50 to transport him to the stash house to replenish his drug supply.”

• Carter and Woods joked about junkies hooked on the prescription drug Opana, a narcotic analgesic, and called it “the white man’s heroin.”

Carter was charging $150 for one 40-milligram pill of the oxymorphone and said Woods “must be working with people who got jobs.”

• That drug dealer slang included “write-down” for drug orders, “cold-blooded” for high quality and “vicks” for heroin.

The investigation was conducted under the guidance of FBI Special Agent Sandra Maier of Pittsburgh, part of the organized crime/gang unit. The probe included cellphone “physical location search warrants,” according to court papers.

In a release, U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton said FBI agents in Michigan arrested Carter, who appeared in federal court in Detroit on Tuesday.

Another defendant, Megan Holton, is incarcerated in Detroit on unrelated charges.

Detention hearings are scheduled for today for the remaining defendants.

Pennsylvania state police, the attorney general’s office, Cambria County Drug Task Force, Cambria County sheriff’s department and district attorney’s office were involved in the investigation.

The Indiana County Drug Task Force and district attorney’s office also took part.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Haines.

Facing charges Federal authorities have named 15 people in a criminal complaint in connection with a large-scale heroin operation: Kenneth I. “Kane” Carter, 31, of Detroit, the alleged ringleader. Jelina M. “Gino” Cook, 20, Bedford Street, Johnstown. Heather Bush, 35, Blairsville. Chivon Buttrom, 31, Detroit. Clifford B. Camut Jr., 19, Blairsville. Kimberly Cassidy, 39, Blairsville. Brian Davenport, 22, New Florence. Arley Earhart, 21, Latrobe. Ethan Earhart, 26, Derry. Megan Holton, 26, Detroit. Joan Janick, 46, Blairsville. Dewann J. “Woods” Macon, 36, Blairsville. David McGinnis, 19, Bolivar. Amanda Overly, 32, Robinson. Holly Thomas, 20, Derry.

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What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

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