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Quakertown Heroin Suppliers Plead Guilty
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer
2017-12-27

            Last week, two admitted suppliers to the dismantled heroin ring in the Quakertown area were sentenced to state prison time. Antoine Hakim Harris, 29, and Shawn Norwood, 35, both of Philadelphia, could receive 20 years, according information posted on Bucks County's Crime Watch website.

            Both men pleaded guilty to charges of delivery of a controlled substance and conspiracy before Bucks County Common Pleas Court Judge Wallace H. Bateman Jr. on Dec. 19, according to law enforcement officials.  The judge ordered Norwood to serve consecutive sentences of seven to 15 years for heroin delivery and two to five years for conspiracy, totaling nine to 20 years. Harris received consecutive sentences of seven to 15 years for heroin delivery and one to five years for conspiracy, for a total of eight to 20 years.

            "You have supplied an entire region with heroin," Bateman said, according to the same website. "I think it's fair to say that you have contributed to the poisoning of the community."

             The organization sold heroin under several brand names, including BUENO, MIAMI, PROTOCOL, PANELA, the music symbol for an eighth note and FRESH, according to the 195-page presentment.

            The drug organization's crimes "led to widespread addiction amongst young citizens of the Quakertown area," caused numerous overdoses and endangered many lives, all while reaping vast financial profits, according a Bucks County investigating grand jury presentment issued in March. It states that at least two people who were customers of the organization died of overdoses.

            Daniel Keith Moyer, 26, of Richlandtown; and Jonathan Benjamin King, 28, of Quakertown both pleaded guilty in the case. Moyer, described by prosecutors as a mid-level dealer for the organization, pleaded guilty to delivery of controlled substances and conspiracy. King, who participated in the drug-buying trips to Philadelphia, pleaded guilty to a corrupt organizations conspiracy charge. Their sentencings were deferred for at least 30 days, according to law enforcement officials.

            According to prosecutors, Harris and Norwood kept Upper Bucks heroin dealers flush with the illegal, addictive opiate from 2014 through 2016. The dealers sold up to 200 bundles per week, roughly 2,800 bags of heroin, in the Quakertown, according to Deputy District Attorney David A. Keightly Jr.

            "This was a major drug distribution organization and it could not have operated without you," the judge told Harris and Norwood, according to the website.

            Harris allegedly supplied heroin users and dealers from Bucks County with large quantities of heroin on a regular basis. Harris, nicknamed "Twan," who employed two people demonstrated an "enormous impact on the people of Bucks County" despite not actually conducting any sales within the county, according to law enforcement officials.

            Neither Harris nor Norwood said he sold heroin to support a drug habit. Rather, both said they sold the drugs to help support their families, and that they had quit dealing and moved from the area by the time they were arrested, according to information posted on the county's website.

            Harris was taken into custody on Aug. 10 by U.S. Marshals in Winston-Salem, N.C., where he was working and living with his girlfriend and their three children. It also states that Norwood, who said he has two children and supports two other children of his deceased sister, had moved to Virginia last summer after learning authorities planned to charge him. He was arrested there in November.

            Ten of 14 defendants charged in connection with the heroin enterprise have now pleaded guilty, according to Bucks County officials. A trial the remaining four defendants, identified by law enforcement officials as the organization's alleged leaders, is scheduled for January.

            Sentencing for the five defendants who pleaded guilty in October – Chad E. Knechel, 46, of S. Main Street in Richlandtown, Melody A. Clugh, 23, of Allentown, Lauren E. Bihl, 26, no fixed address, Ryan E. Mokrynchuk, 24, of Red Barn Lane in Quakertown and Jillian R. Betts, 25, no fixed address – has been deferred until after the trial, according to authorities.


 

 

 

 

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