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18 Arrested In Connection With Wilkinsburg Heroin Ring, Used Kids As Drug Runners

(Photo Courtesy: Attorney General's Office)

(Photo Courtesy: Attorney General’s Office)

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Ralph Iannotti began working as a KDKA-TV general assignment reporter...
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HARRISBURG (KDKA) – A total of 18 people have been arrested in connection with a drug ring in Wilkinsburg.

According to a press release from Attorney General Kathleen Kane, the arrests were made as part of the “Operation Wilkinsburg Crew” investigation, which was prompted by several shootings and homicides in the area.

“My message to communities that are being terrorized by drug-related violence and crime is that their safety is my priority,” Kane said in the statement. “My office is using every resource available to get criminals off the streets and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.”

(Photo Courtesy: Attorney General's Office)

(Photo Courtesy: Attorney General’s Office)

The investigation began in 2012.

“Last year, Wilkinsburg experienced the highest number of homicides in Allegheny County outside the city of Pittsburgh. The majority of homicides and shootings stem from ongoing feuds between crews and their attempts to control the heroin trade in Wilkinsburg,” Kane said.

Evidence and other testimony was presented to a grand jury, which determined that 20-year-old Julian Thompson was the central figure of the group.

Thompson was believed to be a heroin supplier in Churchill, Penn Hills and Monroeville.

Search warrants were obtained for several homes and vehicles in connection with the investigation. As a result, police found an AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle, four handguns, 270 bricks of heroin, over half a kilogram of powder and crack cocaine and over $95,000 in cash.

The heroin had an estimated street value of $94,500.

“This absolutely puts a dent in it [heroine distribution],” said Kane. “We went for not only the dealers but the suppliers and we are sending a message that we are watching and won’t tolerate this.”

The group also used children as young as 13-years-old to run heroin to buyers and cash to dealers.

Listen to NewsRadio 1020 KDKA’s interview with Attorney General Kathleen Kane:

The full list of those arrested and the charges they are facing is:

Julian Thompson, 20, 2137 Village Drive, Wilkinsburg, is charged with two counts of criminal conspiracy, two counts of participating in a corrupt organization and one count of delivery of heroin.

Jasmine Carter, 23, no known address, one count of delivery of heroin and one count of possession with intent to deliver heroin.

James Shanks, 23, 2903 Gilmore St., Pittsburgh, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, one count of criminal conspiracy, one count of delivery of heroin and one count of possession with the intent to deliver heroin.

Andre Brown, 21, 1212 Besemer St., Pittsburgh, is charged with one count of delivery of heroin and one count of possession with the intent to deliver heroin.

Gregory Nash, 33, 418 N. Graham St., Pittsburgh, is charged with one count of criminal conspiracy.

Garnett Long-Parham, 27, 4301 Stonecliffe Drive, Monroeville, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, one count of criminal conspiracy, one count of delivery of heroin and one count of possession with the intent to deliver heroin.

Vadol Lewis, 20, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, one count of criminal conspiracy, one count of delivery of heroin and one count of possession with the intent to deliver heroin.

Kyland Napper, 20, 417 Ella St., Wilkinsburg, is charged with one count of delivery of heroin and one count of possession with the intent to deliver heroin.

Kyle Wilson, 19, 2131 Lindsay Road, Wilkinsburg, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, one count of criminal conspiracy, one count of delivery of heroin and one count of possession with the intent to deliver heroin.

Eric Newsome, 21, 631 Deborah Jane Drive, Pittsburgh, is charged with one count of delivery of heroin, one count of possession with the intent to deliver heroin and one count of possession of heroin.

Emmett Wilson, 21, 2109 Village Drive, Pittsburgh, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, two counts of delivery of heroin, two counts of possession with the intent to deliver heroin, two counts of possession of heroin and one count of criminal conspiracy.

Jonas Gillespie, 20, 1900 Brushcliffe Road, Pittsburgh, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, one count of criminal conspiracy, one count of delivery of heroin and one count of possession with the intent to deliver heroin.

Dalemar Satchell, 20, 200 Johnston Road, Penn Hills, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, one count of criminal conspiracy, one count of delivery of heroin and one count of possession with the intent to deliver heroin.

Reginald Freeman, 21, 9933 Grandview Ave., Penn Hills, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, one count of criminal conspiracy, one count of delivery of heroin and one count of possession with the intent to deliver heroin.

Tyree Young, 22, 417 Card St., Wilmerding, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, one count of criminal conspiracy, one count of delivery of heroin and one count of possession with the intent to deliver heroin.

Michael Barr, 25, 7226 Joshua St., Pittsburgh, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, one count of criminal conspiracy, one count of delivery of heroin and one count of possession with the intent to deliver heroin.

Nicholas Beck, 29, 204 Moon Stone Lane, Greensburg, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization and one count of criminal conspiracy.

Khiry Thomas, 23, 1142 South Ave., #2, Pittsburgh, is charged with one count of possession with intent to deliver heroin and one count of possession of heroin.

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