By Steve Pope | October 23, 2018
The McKees Rock’s mayor had high praise for McKees Rocks and Stowe Township police officers who, along with agents from the Attorney General’s Office and area police conducted Friday’s roundup and arrested most of the 51 people who are alleged in court papers to have sold drugs in the two communities.
“I’m very proud of our police department, said Mayor Jack Muhr. “I know they have been working on this for most of the year and a lot of hard work has gone into the investigation.”
Mr. Muhr said he has a strong message to those who plan on selling drugs in his community — “We want them to know that they are not welcome here. We don’t condone any type of drug dealing or drug activity in Mckees Rocks.”
Over a ten month period police and drug agents made a series of approximately 100 controlled purchases utilizing undercover officers and agents as well as confidential informants.
Based on a review of court documents several of the defendants face very serious drug charges and for most of them this is not their first arrest.
According to one law enforcement officer the linchpin of the roundup was James Johnston, 30, of McKees Rocks, who on June 15, supplied drugs to 23-year-old Cody Daugherty of Mckees Rocks, in return for a Michael Vick Philadelphia Eagles jersey, according to a Grand Jury Presentment.
Daugherty was found unresponsive the next day, and was pronounced dead. He died from an overdose of “fentanyl, cocaine, heroin, hydrocodone, and [ecstasy],” according to Dr. Karl Williams of the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office. Johnston, who is still being sought by police, is charged with drug delivery resulting in death and several drug offenses.
Among the 51 charged is Raymon Gee, the son of McKees Rock’s Councilwoman Leslie Gee, who is facing drug delivery charges.
On Sept. 6, police and state drug agents were forced to break into Gee’s home that he shares with his girlfriend Shannon Farrell. During the search police found two large bags of ecstasy, two pistols, an AR-15 assault rifle and a bottle of amphetamine pills. Farrell admitted to police that the drugs were found within easy reach of several young children.
Farrell purchased the assault rifle at Gee’s request, because being a convicted felon he is prohibited from purchasing firearms. “Farrell did not know what caliber the AR-15 is, how to load it, how to shoot or operate it,” the complaint said.
Police charged her with six counts of endangering the welfare of children, conspiracy, two counts of possession with intent to deliver and several firearms offenses.
Police alleged in the complaint that Farrell told them that Gee sold most of the drugs, although she admitted to selling some at his request. Gee is facing possession with intent to deliver, conspiracy, and weapons charges.
Gee also allegedly supplied drugs to a woman who then sold them to an undercover drug agent on two occasions. According to a criminal complaint Brianna Grabowski, 21, of McKees Rocks, agreed to sell ecstasy to the undercover officer on Aug. 30 and Sept. 4. On both occasions she was followed by police to Gee’s Frank Street residence where she obtained the drugs that she then sold to police.
In the document, police wrote that Gee “has been the focus of a narcotics investigation for the past several months.”
In another case, police alleged in a criminal complaint that a confidential informant purchased crack cocaine three separate times from 38-year-old Randy Tibbs, of Mckees Rocks, on July 21, 24 and Sept. 13.
Each time the informant walked up to Tibbs’s home on Russellwood Avenue and Tibbs opened a window and passed the drugs to the informant, according to the complaint.
Tibbs faces charges of drug delivery, criminal use of a communication facility, possession with intent to deliver and possession.
“Good, solid law enforcement cooperation between my Bureau of Narcotics Investigation and the McKees Rocks and Stowe Township police departments led to these arrests and criminal charges filed today,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro said.
All of the defendants that were arrested Friday are scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing on Oct. 30.
Steve Pope can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org