WEST CHESTER, Pa. --Authorities in Chester County have announced more than four dozen arrests in a major drug sweep operation dubbed "Operation Crushed Ice."
The joint 2-year operation between Chester County Detectives and Pennsylvania State Police targeted a drug-dealing operation based in Southern Chester County that prosecutors say extended throughout the Delaware Valley and across the United States.
According to the Chester County District Attorney, the ring bought and sold methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, marijuana and prescription drugs, with a delivery operation that reached from around Philadelphia's suburbs, as far as Arizona and Puerto Rico.
"The Arizona connection is because the best of the crystal meth, and he was supplying high quality crystal meth, comes from super labs out in Mexico, it comes right over the border in Arizona, and boom, there you are," said Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan.
The alleged head of the organization was 27-year-old Richard Maitre of the 300 block of Connor Road in Oxford, Pa., Hogan said.
Authorities began tracking his activities back in 2015 when he they say he was dealing drugs from Chester County Prison.
The arrests finally came during a series of raids in January of this year, Hogan said, when police seized methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and prescription drugs at a home on Chesterville Road in Landenberg, Pa. and at 17 other locations in the region.
They also found more than 40 firearms, cash, more than 20 vehicles, and drug trafficking paraphernalia including scales and packaging materials.
Maitre and 48 others have been charged with felony drug trafficking, conspiracy, firearms violations and related charges.
Maitre's bail was set at $2,000,000 and he was remanded to Chester County Prison. All of the defendants were indicted by the Chester County Grand Jury.
According the D.A.'s office, the following suspects have also been charged:
Brian Amoriello, 40; Alberto Andrews, 37; Jose Beltran-Mercado, 33; Michael Brackin, 25; Kiere Brown, 25; Christopher Bryant, 29; Nicole Bui, 29; Samuel Carr, 29; Charles Chambers, 55; Julio Colon, 28; Harry Dillow, 55; Dean Fenner, 47; Christopher Forrester, 38; Gilberto Hernandez, 24; Jeremy Horne, 26; Eboni Jackson, 41; Jermaine Jackson, 45; Scott Johnson, 29; William Jones, 30; Ryan Kelly, 36; Maria Lemos, 41; Carrie Lewis, 33; Debra Lewis, 46; Brittaney Mantz, 24; Marc Massey, 36; Herbert McClain, Jr., 30; Jenna McGoldrick, 26; Steven Miller, 29; Michael Oxford, 38; David Price, 34; Joseph Racca, 28; Moiscell Robinson, 28; Robbie Robinson, 40; Austin Rodriguez, 29; Deanie Seymour, 29; Victor Smith, 37; Theodore Spencer, 56; Tonya Stewart, 39; Andrea Sydenstricker, 27; Barry Sydenstricker, 60; Jonathan Taylor, 27; Darrell Thomas, 33; Timothy Turner, 27; Louie Velez, 37; Michael Walsh, Jr., 20; Michael Walsh, Sr., 38; Stephen Westmoreland, 33; and Michael Zelek, 30.