Five men are facing charges in connection to a multi-state drug ring that prosecutors say is responsible for distributing 800 pounds of crystal meth across several states since 2019. The investigation culminated in the seizure of other drugs and guns at properties in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia and California.
PHILADELPHIA – Prosecutors in Pennsylvania have dismantled a large-scale drug ring accused of peddling more than 800 pounds of methamphetamine and other drugs in multiple states.
Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele was joined by local and federal agencies Tuesday in announcing charges against Tyrone Baker, 29, Shakeem Johnson, 27, Joshua Quiles, 31, Jhamir Winans, 21, and Rickey Evans, 28.
Investigators said Evans shipped "large quantities" of drugs from Los Angeles to Baker, Quiles, Winans, Johnson and others in the Philadelphia-area for nearly a year. The men primarily used CashApp to pay Evans over $86k from March 2021 to March 2022, according to authorities.
The investigation started last March when authorities said 29-year-old Chase Smith was arrested for selling methamphetamine to an undercover officer in Lower Merion Township. Authorities later learned that Smith was part of a large-scale meth ring that distributed drugs in New Jersey, Maryland and West Virginia.
While investigating the methamphetamine ring, authorities learned of a parallel investigation by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Investigators identified 91 packages shipped between October 2019 and December 2021 that matched the pattern associated with the drug trafficking organization with mailing or a return address in the Los Angeles and Philadelphia areas.
Authorities said 15 of the 91 packages were seized by law enforcement and all contained methamphetamine, totaling approximately 60 pounds. In total, authorities say the trafficking organization is responsible for distributing 800 pounds of methamphetamine in Southeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and West Virginia, as well as trafficking other illegal drugs that includes fentanyl, oxycodone and marijuana.
"Drug traffickers need to know that law enforcement in this area is committed to stopping the flow of all illegal drugs in Montgomery County," Steele said.
Authorities executed several search warrants at properties in southeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia and California. Authorities found drugs, including 83 pounds of crystal meth with a street value of at least $2M, and over 20 firearms including eight long guns.
All five men are charged with more than 100 felony counts of crimes including corrupt organization, conspiracy, and possession with intent to deliver. Baker, Winans and Evans are being held on $3M bail, while Johnson and Quilrs had bail set at $1M.
"Deadly drugs like those seized during this case continue to destroy lives and ravage communities. Too many families have been touched by the tragic consequences of addiction and overdose," said Homeland Security Investigations’ SAC Walker.
MORE LOCAL HEADLINES
DOWNLOAD: FOX 29 NEWS APP | FOX 29 WEATHER AUTHORITY APP
SUBSCRIBE: Good Day Digest Newsletter | FOX 29 Philly on YouTube
FOLLOW: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ©2022 FOX Television Stations