Police dragnet bags 17

By TOM KANE

HONESDALE, PA – Over 40 police officers surprised 17 suspected and unsuspecting Honesdale drug dealers in the early hours of October 25 and carted them off to federal and county courts. Jail immediately followed.

This all happened before many of us stirred out of bed at 6:00 a.m.

“This is among the biggest busts in recent memory,” said Wayne County District Attorney Michael Lehutsky, standing with a phalanx of officers and officials from an array of agencies. “The cooperation between these agencies was remarkable and made this clean sweep possible.”

The event marked the continuation of an intensive investigation of cocaine and marijuana trafficking in and around the Briarwood Apartments located in Honesdale.

Lehutsky and United States Attorney Thomas A. Marino held a quickly announced press conference at the county court house at which representatives of the cooperating agencies attended.

The investigation was initiated in February 2006, and conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Wayne County District Attorney’s Office, the Honesdale Borough Police and the Hawley Borough Police.

Federal charges and arrest warrants were issued against the following individuals:

• John James Annable, Jr. 45, Briarwood Apartments, Honesdale, for distribution of cocaine.

• Shannon Austin, 23, 267 Bryn Mawr Road, Honesdale, for distribution of cocaine.

• Deena Carnegie, 21, 303 High Street, Honesdale, aiding and abetting the distribution of cocaine.

• Ricardo Gomez, 29, 24-16 88th St., East Elmhurst, NY for distribution of cocaine.

• John Riley Hardy, 23, formerly of Honesdale, for distribution of cocaine.

• Ashton Joseph, 23, 975 Wallenpaupack Lake Estates, Lake Ariel, for distribution of cocaine.

• Walfril Koradis, 42, Wayne County Jail, Honesdale, for distribution of cocaine.

• Zekailu Lor, 37, 330 Terrace Street, Honesdale, for distribution of cocaine.

• James Edward Sullivan, 22, 224 Ash Street, Honesdale, for distribution of cocaine.

• Luis Sullivan, 25, 647 Park Street, Honesdale, for distribution of cocaine.

• Alfred Howie Whitehead, 27, 223 Terrace Street, Honesdale, for distribution of cocaine base.

• Shannell Nicholle Wingo, a/k/a Shannel Lynch, 24, 13170 Boston Road, Bronx, NY for distribution of cocaine base (crack).

State charges were filed against:

• Montreal L. Brown, 27, 11616 West Side Avenue, Honesdale, for distribution of marijuana.

• Anthony Devany, 31, 709 Maple Avenue, Honesdale, for distribution of marijuana.

• Gerardo Gonzalez, 20, 365 Riverside Drive, Honesdale, for distribution of marijuana

• Kyle Matthews, 20, Briarwood Apartments, Honesdale, for distribution of marijuana.

The agencies conducted the investigation through the use of undercover purchases of drugs, the recording of drug related conversations by cooperating witnesses, surveillance activities, the execution of search warrants and police interviews of local citizens.

Twelve of the individuals charged have been apprehended but four suspects remain at large.

TRR photo by Tom Kane
Wayne County District Attorney Michael Lehutsky gives details of a drug sweep at a news conference on October 26. (Click for larger version)