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Marijuana Pipeline Yields Additional Arrests
Written by Kelly Chandler Staff Writer
2014-10-01

        Authorities said 15 more people are facing jail time for their involvement with a marijuana pipeline operation that ran from California to Upper Hanover Township, PA, which was recently shut down in a joint law enforcement effort. 

        The investigation, initiated by Upper Perk Police (UPPD), was completed by the District Attorney's Offices of Montgomery and Berks counties, UPPD, PA State Police and the California Mountain and Valley Investigative Team this summer.

        The 15 individuals were arrested in June and July and are scheduled to appear in Montgomery County Court later this month or early next month.  All were charged with felony offenses including manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver, conspiracy and criminal use of a communication facility, among other charges.

        Their bail was set at amounts ranging from $25,000 to $100,000, unsecured. 

        Authorities said they determined the individuals were involved in some capacity with the drug organization allegedly headed by Jason L. Marks, 43, of Upper Hanover Township, Larry F. Kline, 42, of McKinleyville, CA, Michael A. Lynch, 45, of Boyertown, Ruben Morales, 47, of Philadelphia and Gregory P. Gaudreau, 36, of East Greenville.

        That organization is reportedly responsible for the cultivation, transportation and distribution of more than $1 million worth of marijuana across seven counties in PA. More than 100 pounds of marijuana, with a street value ranging from $300,000 to $500,000, was seized from homes associated with Marks and Lynch earlier this year, authorities said, along with more than $459,000 in cash.

        According to court documents, Marks admitted to being involved in distributing drugs across state lines for 27 years.  According to mandatory sentencing laws, if convicted, Marks faces a minimum of nine years in prison. 

        Marks, Lynch, Morales and Gaudreau all waived formal arraignment proceedings in Montgomery County Court last week and are scheduled for pre-trial conferences later this month.  Kline is scheduled to appear in Red Hill District Court for a preliminary hearing Oct. 29 at 11 a.m. in front of Judge Catherine Hummel Fried.

        As a result of the drug investigation, search warrants were executed at several additional homes in the region March 31 and April 1, including those belonging to siblings of a key player in the organization, authorities said. 

        Around 5:38 p.m. March 31, authorities said they confiscated more than $13,000 in cash along with a silver 2001 Jeep Cherokee, two large containers of suspected marijuana and a variety of electronics from the home of Patrick Gaudreau, Gregory Gaudreau's brother, in the 500 block of W. 3rd Street in Bethlehem.  At the home of Renee Chona in the 800 block of Deep Run Road in Perkasie, the men's sister, nine blocks of suspected hashish, 11 bags of marijuana in jars, a digital scale, smoker's pipe and a sheet of paper with hash/marijuana prices were seized March 31, court papers stated.

        A search warrant was also reportedly served at the home of Dominic Sumpolec in the 2900 block of Route 100 in Orefield that day, where authorities said they confiscated three bags and a plastic container of suspected marijuana, five guns and ammunition, two digital scales and grinding equipment, among other items.     

        According to court papers, a green Everest duffel bag, identical to the ones found at the homes of Marks, Lynch and Morales, was located at the Blandon home of Ammon Snyder, in the 100 block of Blandon Avenue, during a warrant executed March 31, in addition to $322 in cash, six baggies with marijuana, a gun and ammunition, a grinder, scale and packaging equipment.

        Search warrants were also served the same day in the 4300 block of Winfield Street in Emmaus, which police said was the home of Gerald Reinbold; the 400 block of Washington Street in Pennsburg, the home of William Heffentrager Jr.; and the 2300 block of S. Lehigh Gorge Drive in Weatherly, the home of Jeremie Kunkle, according to court documents. 

        In Heffentrager's home, police said they found three jars containing suspected marijuana, eight smoking pipes and a metal grinder; at Reinbold's home they confiscated suspected marijuana and cocaine; and at Kunkle's house police said they found more than $4,000 in cash, a large quantity of suspected marijuana, five guns and mushrooms.        

        A warrant was also served the same night at a home in the 1000 block of Lake Lane in Pennsburg, associated with Jason J. Moser.  Authorities said they seized 20 guns, ammunition and clear plastic bags containing suspected marijuana from that home. 

        Montgomery County Detectives have also filed felony drug charges against Jeffrey Roth, of the 500 block of W. 3rd Street, Bethlehem, as a part of their investigation, alleging that Roth took two separate deliveries of 10 pounds of marijuana from Lynch, authorities said. 

        They have also charged Anthony Marks, 38, of the 1100 block of Station Road in Palm, Jason Marks' brother, with felony corrupt organizations, manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to deliver, conspiracy, dealing in the proceeds of an unlawful activity and criminal use of a communication facility for his role in the organization.  Authorities allege Anthony Marks sold marijuana through the organization.

        Michael J. Travaglini of the 1300 block of Fennel Road in Pennsburg, Aaron Bolden of the 100 block of S. Church Street in Bally, Joseph A. Rizzo III of the 200 block of Hickon Drive in Quakertown, Tristan Hontz of the 400 block of 4th Street in Green Lane, and James R. Shuhler, of the 1400 block of Gravel Pike in Green Lane have all been charged with identical felony offenses, according to court papers.  Authorities allege Marks supplied those individuals with marijuana. 

        Two other individuals had their charges withdrawn or were not charged, authorities said.

        Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney Jason W. Whalley, who is prosecuting the case, said he will be determining whether or not to seek state prison time for the additional defendants according to what role they played in the organization.  He noted they "[seemed] to supply a large amount of marijuana to this region."


 

 

 

 

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