Drug suspects

Photos of drug suspects as supplied by the state Attorney General's office.

Fifteen alleged drug dealers got an early morning visit from state narcotics agents, local police and sheriff’s deputies in a sweep that wraps up a nine-month drug investigation in Grove City and Sandy Lake areas.

In all, 17 suspected street-level dealers were named in a news release from Attorney General Tom Corbett’s office. Half are from Sandy Lake, and half from Grove City, Hadley, Jackson Center, Polk, Mercer and Stoneboro. Two were still loose.

Mercer County District Attorney James Epstein said the bust paid attention to the southeast corner of the county, and was the biggest ever in that area.

“It’s not simply an urban issue,” he said in a press conference Friday afternoon. “It’s a county issue.”

“It’s a problem everywhere,” Corbett said. “No section, no matter how rural you might be, is immune to the problem.”

Of the suspects, 14 are to be arraigned for dealing cocaine and three for the prescription painkiller oxycodone. One is also to be charged with delivering fentanyl, a painkiller.

“Selling illegal drugs like cocaine is a serious matter, but just as serious is selling legal prescription drugs that are intended to relieve pain and not feed a junkie’s habit,” Corbett said in the release.

Two suspects have yet to be rounded up, including Keith Brooks, 36, of Sandy Lake and Robert Love, 24, Sandy Lake Township.

The other suspects were to be arraigned at District Judge Lawrence T. Silvis’s office in Worth Township.

The investigation and arrests were conducted by Bureau of Narcotics Investigation agents who, over nine months, made a series of undercover drug buys.

They used informants, who remain confidential, and targeted cocaine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, methamphetamine, and fentanyl.

Prosecution of the suspects falls on Epstein, who will try to work up the chain to mid-level dealers. “Jim will be talking to (the low-level dealers). It’s in their best interests to work with us,” Corbett said.

Epstein said pulling low-level dealers off the streets is good for the county. “These are the type of offenders who are capable of destroying the quality of life in Grove City and Sandy Lake.”

He said, though, there is a chance they will identify their suppliers. “There’s a code of silence until people are facing prison, and then the code of silence goes away,” Epstein said.

Corbett said in the release that residents of Grove City and Sandy Lake can only eliminate drug dealing by cutting off demand, “and letting drug users and dealers know that they are not welcome in your communities.”

He said as long as there is drug demand, there will be dealers. “It’s economics 101, supply and demand. Will someone try to come in and replace these people? Absolutely.”



Arrested in the bust

These people were arrested in connection with a drug bust in Sandy Lake and Grove City Friday morning, said a release from Attorney General Tom Corbett:

ä Kenneth Sachse, 25, of 339 Cole Road, Sandy Lake Township; charged with criminal use of a phone, possession with intent to deliver cocaine, and delivery of cocaine.

ä Robert Peavey, 27, of 1037 Barkeyville Road, Lot 40, Pine Township; charged with possession with intent to deliver cocaine, delivery of cocaine, conspiracy to possess and deliver cocaine, and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

ä Jason Greggs, 28, of 110 Woodside Drive, Pine Township; charged with possession and intent to deliver cocaine, delivery of cocaine, and conspiracy with intent to deliver.

ä Christine Deets, 27, of 73 Latham Road, Sandy Lake Township; charged with possession with intent to deliver cocaine, delivery of cocaine, and conspiracy with intent to deliver.

ä John Schoen, 35, of 1062 Fredonia Road, Apartment 3, Perry Township; charged with delivery of cocaine and conspiracy with intent to deliver cocaine.

ä Shane Connelly, 26, of 5664 Sandy Lake Road, Lot 8, Sandy Lake Township; charged with criminal use of a phone, possession with intent to deliver cocaine, and delivery of cocaine.

ä Harry Miller, 29, of 4257 Mercer St., New Lebanon; charged with possession with intent to deliver cocaine, delivery of cocaine, conspiracy to possess and intent to deliver cocaine, and criminal use of a phone.

ä Bobbie Lynn Saylor, 31, of 286 Flick Road, Sandy Creek Township; charged with criminal use of a phone, possession with intent to deliver oxycodone, and delivery of oxycodone.

• Charles Stiver, 41, of 10 Booher Road, Sandy Lake Township; charged with possession with intent to deliver cocaine, delivery of cocaine, and conspiracy with intent to deliver cocaine.

• Malissa Russell, 25, of 467 S. Otter St., Mercer; charged with criminal use of a phone, possession with intent to deliver cocaine and fentanyl, delivery of cocaine and fentanyl, and conspiracy with intent to deliver cocaine and fentanyl.

• Kenneth Russell, 50, of Borland Road, New Vernon Township; charged with possession with intent to deliver cocaine, delivery of cocaine, and conspiracy with intent to deliver cocaine.

• Michael Friedl, age unknown, 337 S. Foster Road, Jackson Township; charged with two counts criminal use of a phone, possession with intent to deliver cocaine, delivery of cocaine, and conspiracy with intent to deliver cocaine.

• Adam McCullough, 29, of 337 S. Foster Road, Jackson Township; charged with criminal use of a phone, possession with intent to deliver cocaine, delivery of cocaine, and conspiracy with intent to deliver cocaine.

• David Reynolds, 22, Lake Street, Stoneboro; charged with criminal use of a phone, possession with intent to deliver cocaine, delivery of cocaine, and conspiracy with intent to deliver cocaine.

• Shawn Silata, 26, of 33 Mill St., Sandy Lake; charged with criminal use of a phone, possession with intent to deliver cocaine, delivery of cocaine, and conspiracy with intent to deliver cocaine.

Two suspects had not been arrested by Friday afternoon, the release said. They are:

• Keith Brooks, 36, of 6 W. Lacock St., Sandy Lake; charged with three counts delivery of oxycodone, possession with intent to deliver oxycodone, conspiracy with intent to deliver oxycodone, and criminal use of a phone.

• Robert Love, 24, of 6091 Sandy Lake-Polk Road, Sandy Lake Township; charged with criminal use of a phone, possession with intent to deliver oxycodone, delivery of oxycodone, and conspiracy with intent to deliver oxycodone.

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