Wednesday, December 12, 2018


 See this weeks print edition  

for these stories:

  • Area Bowling Results





Local News Article
Return to Previous Page

Final Suspect in Drug Ring Found Guilty in Trial
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            The final defendant in a three-year-old case involving a cross-country marijuana ring was convicted of five counts last week in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court.

            Ruben Morales, 50, of Philadelphia, was found guilty of two felony counts of possession of marijuana with the intent to sell and one count each of corrupt organizations, dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity and conspiracy, following a Nov. 14 bench trial before Judge Gary S. Silow.

            Local law enforcement officials, including from the Upper Perk Police District and county, disrupted the ring, which transported pot from California and commanded up to $5,000 per pound.

            Law enforcement officials discovered 23 pounds of marijuana, 38 empty pound-size marijuana bags, more than $18,000 in cash and checks made out to Morales, various controlled substances, scales and packaging equipment and multiple IDs at two Philadelphia locations associated with Morales, according to the original arrest warrant field in the Red Hill court of District Judge Catherine Hummel Fried in September 2014.

            The ring's members were accused of selling at least four varieties of marijuana – "Mr. Nice Guy," "Flo," "Scatter Brain" and "Grape Ape" – in Upper Hanover, East Greenville, Barto, Pennsburg (Montgomery), Boyertown, Blandon (Berks), North Philadelphia (Philadelphia), Orefield (Lehigh), Bethlehem (Northampton), Weatherly (Carbon) and Perkasie (Bucks). Authorities withdrew charges against two of the 22 arrested suspects. 

            Sentencing in the case has not been scheduled, according to Robert Kolansky, the county's assistant district attorney who prosecuted the case. Kolansky said he will seek state prison time for Morales due to his actions related to the case and previous convictions in Montgomery County on felony drug possession and distribution charges 2004.

            The prosecutor said he expects Morales to appeal the most recent conviction.

            Silow amended the defendant's bail from $300,000 unsecured to $300,000 monetary. Morales was remanded to Montgomery County Jail.

            According to Kolansky, he and defense attorney Richard Giuliani spent most of the morning debating several pre-trial motions. He said one defense motion requested that the judge suppress evidence discovered during a search of Morales's property because law enforcement officials lacked probable cause. Silow ruled that the necessary probable cause existed, according to the prosecutor.

            Only one witness – a Montgomery County detective – testified during the actual trial, according to Kolansky.

            Of the 20 defendants in the case, Morales is the only one to be tried. The other 19 avoided trials by accepting plea agreements.

            "I can't say I am entirely surprised by that," said Kolansky, who was assigned to the entire case and became the lead prosecutor after Jason Whalley left the DA's office. "The evidence against each and every defendant was overwhelming. This was a very well-investigated case."





Join our Business Directory today and get the introductory rate for a full year.
Click Here.


Home Editorial
News Photos
Sports Business Directory
Obituaries Classified Ads
Calendar Contact Us
  Advertise with the Town & Country... It's the weekly paper that people read, not just look at!  Click here to learn more or sign up.   Serving the municipalities of Bally, East Greenville, Green Lane, Hereford, Lower Salford, Marlborough, Milford, New Hanover, Pennsburg, Red Hill, Trumbauersville, Upper Hanover, Upper Salford
The Town & Country is now available at 64 locations throughout the region! Pick up your copy at any of the locations here, or better yet, have it delivered directly to your mailbox!  Click here to subscribe.

Local News for Local Readers since 1899.
© Copyright 2009 and Terms of Use
Site Design by Bergey Creative Group