Mary Alice Reporting –
Two men, from Uhrichsville and New Philadelphia, are among members or associates of a motorcycle club facing charges.
A federal grand jury in Pittsburgh has issued three separate, but related, Indictments, charging 30 residents of western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio with narcotics trafficking and firearm possession.
A United State Department of Justice release noted that the indictments relate to an ongoing investigation regarding members and associates of the Pagans Motorcycle Club. The group operates around western Pennsylvania and engage in activity including federal violations of drug and firearm laws.
An investigation began in August 2018 that led to a Title III wire investigation that intercepted multiple telephone communications from August 2020 through November 2020.
According to US Attorney Scott Brady, the gang’s primary business is drug trafficking.
“And violence is the primary tool to protect that drug business. The FBI estimates that there are over 1,500 members and 41 chapters nationwide. The Pagans have used violence to control heroin, cocaine, and meth trafficking in Allegany, West Moreland, Erie, Fayette, and Washington counties. For decades they’ve avoided prosecution.”
As part of the widespread investigation, results identified large-scale and smaller, more local narcotic suppliers. Brady adds that search warrants were ultimately conducted at 11 different locations.
The first of three total indictments listed nine individuals, including 25-year-old Cody Bonanno, of Uhrichsville, and 54-year-old Phillip Bonanno, of New Philadelphia.
According to this Indictment, the Bonanno’s participated in conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, a Schedule II controlled substance between January and November of 2020.
Phillip Bonanno was also charged with distribution and possession intent for 500 grams or more of cocaine.
For the counts involving heroin and cocaine, the law provides for a minimum sentence of five years’ and a maximum sentence of 40 years’ imprisonment, a fine of not more than $5,000,000, or both. As to the involvement of methamphetamine and heroin, the law provides for a minimum sentence of 10 years and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, a fine of not more than $10,000,000, or both.
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