A methamphetamine ring bust netted 32 suspects in Montgomery County and Philadelphia, Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman announced today.
Detectives from the Montgomery County District Attorney's Narcotics Enforcement Team began receiving information in 2011 about Hatfield residents Francesco Messina, Jeffrey Penna and David Penna, who were allegedly trafficking the drug. The scope of the investigation soon broadened to include Troy Dudas of Limerick Township, and the case was assigned a high priority due to public safety concerns sparked by the dangerous narcotic's wide distribution.
Ferman then received permission from the Pennsylvania Superior Court to monitor Messina's and Dudas' cell phones via wiretap
and electronic surveillance from February 8, 2012 through February 29, when 14 search warrants were served at locations throughout
Montgomery and Philadelphia counties, including Cosmo Motors, a large auto-body shop in Lansdale. Authorities seized methamphetamine, paraphernalia and firearms.
The wiretapping "exposed a corrupt
organization trafficking methamphetamine that plagued our citizens and
neighborhood," according to a release from Ferman's office, who called the trafficking network a "family affair." Detectives identified a hierarchy consisting of participants they termed "distributors," "users" or "pushers."
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Allegedly falling into the "distributors" category are brothers Jeffrey and David Penna – who investigators said used the drug and sold it from Jeffrey Penna's Hatfield home – and Frank Messina, who also allegedly used the drug and sold it to his own sister-in-law, Lisa Messina.
Monitored conversations between Frank and Lisa Messina detailed their method of operation and revealed connections to a Philadelphia meth ring, allegedly run by brothers Juan and Antonio Encarnacion, which investigators say was shut down by the latest rounds of arrests.
Other participating law enforcement agencies included the Souderton Police Department, the Lansdale Borough Police Department, the Hatfield Police Department, the Lower Providence Police Department and the Philadelphia Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Agency.
Arrested for Corrupt Organizations and Violations of the Drug Act were:
Francesco "Frank" Messina, 719 Schwab Road, Hatfield.
Troy Dudas, 111 Mine Run Road, Schwenksville.
Todd Slawecki, 42 Orchard Court, Royersford.
Robert Glorioso, 1295 Cabin Road, Hatfield Township.
Jeff Penna, 1295 Cabin Road, Hatfield Township.
Dave Penna, 1898 Valley Forge Road, Lansdale.
Jeff Martinez, 3822 North 6th Street, Philadelphia.
James Trull, 1447 Old Skippack Road, Harleysville.
Vanessa Ramos, 1002 N. Marshall Street, Philadelphia.
Timothy Beck, 55 Meng Road, Schwenksville.
Kristina Popelarski, 385 Greenwood Avenue, Collegeville.
Joel Jay Payumo, aka Marissa Devine, 251 E. Thompson Street, Philadelphia.
Joseph "Phoenix" Croxton, 1734 Tasker Street #1, Philadelphia.
Dan Ells, 225 E. 2nd Street, Apt B, Lansdale.
Rodney Creciun, 108 Stump Road, North Wales.
John Griffith, 1626 Sheffield Drive, Blue Bell.
As well as Antonio Encarnacion Perales, 1002 N. Marshall Street #2, Philadelphia; Juan Encarnacion, 3921 N. 6th Street, Philadelphia and Kent Lee Seprauskie "Gadget," 55 Meng Road, Schwenksville.
Thirteen others were charged with Violations of the Drug Act.