DA LARRY KRASNER ANNOUNCES APPOINTMENT OF INTERIM VICTIM SERVICES SUPERVISOR

January 8, 2018 by

The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office is pleased to announce the appointment of Movita Johnson-Harrell, who will be joining DAO as Interim Supervisor of Victim Services. Ms. Johnson-Harrell is intimately aware of the impact of crime as she is both the mother and daughter of a homicide victim. The Victim Services unit is tasked with advocating on behalf of and providing services for all crime victims and witnesses in Philadelphia.

“I am thrilled and honored to join the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office in this vital mission, and look forward to serving the people of Philadelphia in my new role,” Ms. Johnson-Harrell said.

Ms. Johnson-Harrell founded the CHARLES (Creating Healthy Alternatives Results in Less Emotional Suffering) Foundation in 2011 after losing her 18 year-old son, Charles Andre Johnson, to gun violence. She also suffered the loss of her father, cousin, and only brother to homicide.

“I know that this moment of transition in the DAO has been confusing for some victims and their families,” said Johnson-Harrell. “I want to ensure them that our unit is open for business and that we are here to make sure that you have whatever information you need. Please, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me or my staff.”

Ms. Johnson-Harrell has served on the City of Philadelphia’s Focused Deterrence program, and has lobbied and educated state legislators on public safety, mass incarceration, and education issues for over six years. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Masters in Social Work in 2004 and was honored with Penn’s School of Social Work Anita Langsfeld Award, the Jane S. Abrams Award for Outstanding Community Service and the Resources for Children’s Health Community Service Award.

“Her wealth of knowledge, depth of experience, and enthusiasm will be crucial to our Office’s critical mission of delivering services to witnesses of and those traumatized by crime,” District Attorney Krasner said.

The Victim Services Unit can be contacted at (215) 686-8027 or e-mail DA.Victimservices@phila.gov.

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Philadelphia District Attorney Inauguration Address Larry Krasner

January 2, 2018 by

Thank you, thank you all.

You were right. Thank you to all the volunteers, all the voters, all the people who voted for the first time, and to all of those who understood that this election had nothing to do with me as a person, but had everything to do with the movement. All of you, thank you, thank you, thank you.

A movement was sworn in today. A movement. A movement for criminal justice reform that has swept Philadelphia, as the voters have spoken, and is sweeping the United States. One large city to another. One medium sized city to another. It is sweeping the United States. Every movement has its activists. This campaign had its activists. And we have heard, not only from Rev. Miller – thank you very much for your overly kind words Rev. But we have also heard brilliantly I think from so many others, Rev. Tyler and Rev. Holston and we’ll soon hear from the rabbi, these are all people who thoroughly understand what it means to be activists. And also understands that movements don’t have lawyers as leaders, they have lawyers as technicians. They have lawyers to manage the details.

So, on behalf of that movement, and as nothing more than a technician for that movement, I have taken the oath. But it is funny because it says that I will discharge the duties of the District Attorney’s Office but it never says what those duties are. So what are those duties? Well first and foremost it’s very clear from the ethical rules that the duty of the District Attorney, which is different than other attorneys and also different from the judiciary at times, but that duty is to seek justice in society, in society; that requires us to communicate the truth; to represent the public; and to exercise power with restraint with our roots dug deep in the rich soil of equality. That is what we need to do.

So, I thank the clergy for their kind words. I want to thank my wife, Lisa Rau, Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, for swearing me in. It’s not the first promise I’ve made to her. She has, in addition to being an absolutely fabulous and courageous Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, she is also the mother of our two boys. Nate who is here. Caleb, who is on the West Coast. These three remain a constant source of inspiration and support in my lifetime. I also want to thank my extended family, an enthusiastic and well populated row up here. Thank you for the decades of love and support. Just so we are clear, this is not about my family. It’s about our family, because in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection we are all family.

Today there is a little girl somewhere, let’s say in Southwest, she has really big glasses and she loves to read. And she goes to a public school where she has a fabulous teacher, and has 34 other kids in her class where there should be 20 or maybe 17. And she is going to solve the world’s problems if we just give her the chance. But the second teacher she needs is not there because the second teacher she needs is a jail cell that is occupied by a person who doesn’t need to be there. What is lost? What is lost here? Is so much human potential if we don’t get it right. It’s lost in the cost of a death penalty that is never imposed. We’ve lost that in the city with the highest rate of incarnation of any of the ten major cities. And so today we start the long road toward trading jails, and trading death row, for schools.

So, today there is another police officer in North Philly, let’s say, who is driving in a marked car and wearing a uniform in the neighborhood where he grew up. He’s smart, hardworking, loves his community, and wants to keep it safe. But when he waves, people don’t always wave back and they don’t tell him as much as he would like because there is a division between his uniform and the neighborhood that never had to be. That was not his doing. That was based on policies that were, at least, unwise and maybe worse than that. Today we start the long road toward trading division between police and the communities they serve for unity and reconciliation and cooperation.

Today there is a mother in the Northeast whose cell phone is always on ring for fear of her son being arrested, or maybe something much worse. He was prescribed pain pills by a doctor after a work accident several months ago and about the only thing he hasn’t lost yet is his life. He is homeless and wasting away from addiction to heroin. Today we start the long road toward trading jail cells occupied by people suffering from addiction for treatment and harm reduction.

And today there is a brother of a homicide victim, let’s say in South Philly, whose family can’t get justice because their key witness won’t come to court for fear of deportation. The witness is afraid of our own federal government. Today we start the long road toward empowering and protecting some of our most vulnerable witnesses and survivors, immigrants who lack legal status, so that they like other vulnerable groups; young people, elderly people, sex workers; so that they can participate in a criminal justice system that is there to protect them. Today we trade fear for sanctuary.

On these and so many other challenges that face the City, we – this movement – has taken an oath to remember that in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection we are all family. We all deserve protection. We all deserve support and second chances. We are all that family and we are all that movement. Join us.

Thank you.

PHILADELPHIA DISTRICT ATTORNEY ANNOUNCES ARREST OF PHILADELPHIA SHERIFF’S OFFICE DEPUTY WITH SIMPLE ASSAULT, HARASSMENT, AND RELATED CRIMES

December 22, 2017 by

PHILADELPHIA (December 22, 2017) – Philadelphia District Kelley B. Hodge today announced that Philadelphia Sheriff’s Deputy Lyric Dunbar has been arrested and charged with Simple Assault (M2) and Harassment (S) after an attack that took place in Family Court (1501 Arch Street). The incident took place on July 30, 2017.

“Philadelphia’s courtrooms should be places of safety, not violence; especially when it comes to attacks on innocent complainants by a Deputy Sherriff,” said Philadelphia District Attorney Kelley B. Hodge. “Philadelphia Sheriff’s Deputy Lyric Dunbar will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, which is appropriate and necessary, considering the clear video evidence that we have retained and reviewed during this investigation.”

While assigned to the nursery at Family Court, Dunbar came into contact with the complainant. After exchanging words, Dunbar followed the complainant down a hallway and smacked the complainant in the back of the head. After regaining her footing, the complainant continued down the hallway and Dunbar followed. Dunbar confronted the complainant again, this time, punching the complainant in the right side of her face, causing injury to the complainant’s face and damage to the complainant’s glasses. Dunbar was restrained by other sheriff’s deputies while the complainant was transported to the hospital. The assault was captured on video.

Dunbar, DOB 02/13/1984, was hired by the Philadelphia Sherriff’s Office in August of 2013.
She has been suspended for 30 days with the intent to dismiss by the Philadelphia Sherriff’s Office. Her next appearance in court has yet to be scheduled.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Emily Rodriguez of the Office’s Special Investigations Unit.

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PHILADELPHIA DISTRICT ATTORNEY ANNOUNCES ARREST OF PHILADELPHIA POLICE OFFICER FOR SIMPLE ASSAULT, DUI, AND RELATED CRIMES

December 20, 2017 by

PHILADELPHIA (December 20, 2017) – Philadelphia District Attorney Kelley B. Hodge announced today that Philadelphia Police Officer Kevin Klein is in custody for his involvement in a December 24, 2016, traffic accident, threatening a bystander with his service revolver, and for driving under the influence.

The incident took place on December 24, 2016, on the 6100 block of Passyunk Avenue. Klein is charged with two counts of Simple Assault (M2), one count of Driving Under the Influence (UM), and one count of Leaving the Scene of an Accident (M3).

“We all know the dangers of driving under the influence, but as an off duty Philadelphia Police Officer, Kevin Klein certainly knew the dangers of his actions to himself and his fellow bystanders. And then, to use his service revolver during the course of his criminal behavior is deplorable. We expect more of those members of our community who take an oath to protect and serve, and when anyone acts criminally, they will be held accountable for their actions,” said Philadelphia District Attorney Kelley B. Hodge. “I’d like to thank the Philadelphia Police Department and the District Attorney’s Office’s Special Investigations Unit for their professionalism and dedication during this investigation.”

On the 24th, the defendant, who was off-duty, struck an occupied vehicle and then left the scene. The vehicle’s occupants pursued Klein for several miles to get him to stop, but during the pursuit, the complainants saw Klein swerve several times and strike a concrete median. When Klein finally pulled over, he appeared intoxicated, refused to provide his driving credentials, and then pulled out his service weapon and pointed it at the complainants before driving off.

Klein, DOB 06/20/1981, was hired by the Philadelphia Police Department in August of 2008 and was last assigned to the 12th Police District. He has been suspended for 30 days with the intent to dismiss by the Philadelphia Police Department. His next appearance in court has yet to be scheduled.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Jahlee J. Hatchett of the Office’s Special Investigations Unit.

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DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE LAUNCHES HATE CRIME HOTLINE AND STRENGTHENS TASK FORCE

November 16, 2017 by

PHILADELPHIA (Nov. 16, 2017) – Philadelphia District Attorney Kelley B. Hodge today announced that the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office (DAO) has launched a hate crimes hotline and expanded its internal procedures and community partnerships to more effectively respond to the allegations of hate crimes in the City of Philadelphia. The Office’s hotline, which will be staffed by a Victim and Witness Services Coordinator, is 215-686-8931.

“Hate has no place in the City of Philadelphia and if someone sees it happening, or is the victim of a hate crime, we now have a hotline for them to safely file their report” said Kelley B. Hodge, Philadelphia District Attorney. “Additionally, and this is new to the Hate Crimes Task Force, these improvements will allow us to better support the citizens of this great City with more specially assigned Assistant District Attorneys, formal internal policies and procedures, and an improved partnership with Pennsylvania’s Attorney General’s Office and Philadelphia’s Human Relations Commission.”

The following Assistant District Attorneys (ADA) from each geographic bureau, the Family Violence and Sexual Assault Unit, and the Municipal Court Unit have been assigned to prosecute any hate or bias crime in their Bureau or Unit:

  • Coordinator – Salena Jones, ADA;
  • Central Bureau – Sam Haaz, ADA;
  • East Bureau – Yasmine Rosario, ADA;
  • Family Violence and Sexual Assault Unit – Helen Park, ADA;
  • Juvenile Court Unit – Meghan Goddard, ADA;
  • Municipal Court Unit – Adam Geer, ADA;
  • Northeast Bureau – Leonard Champaign, ADA;
  • Northwest Bureau – Ashley Toczylowski, ADA;
  • South Bureau – Lauren Realberg, ADA; and
  • Southwest Bureau – Antima Chakraborty, ADA.

The task force will also meet on a quarterly basis, or more frequently as needed, to discuss any concerns, improvements, and cases. It will also regularly communicate and inform the Philadelphia Human Relations Commission about their work.

“Hate has no place in our Commonwealth and we’re calling on everyone to step up and report discrimination when it happens,” said Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “Every Pennsylvanian deserves equal justice under the law no matter what you look like, who you pray to, where you’re from, or who you love. The Office of Attorney General fully support District Attorney Hodge’s mission, and commends the DA’s Office for opening this hotline so we can call out hate when we see it.”

As targeted by the District Attorney and the task force, a hate crime is a criminal act (e.g. vandalism, threats, assault, and murder) that is motivated by prejudice or bias and is directed at people because of their real or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender, or disability.

“We cannot combat acts of hate if we remain silent. The launch of the new hate crime hotline by the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office will make it much easier for anyone to speak up and report hate incidents so they can be thoroughly investigated. We are looking forward to our partnership with the enhanced task force.” said Rue Landau, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations.

Since the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania does not have a statute defining a hate crime, the Office can charge individuals under Title 18 § 2710, Ethnic Intimidation. Ethnic Intimidation is defined as any specified offense committed “…with malicious intention toward the race, color, religion or national origin of another individual or group of individuals.” Ethnic intimidation is graded one degree higher than the underlying offense.

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DISTRICT ATTORNEY HODGE ISSUES STATEMENT CONGRATULATING LARRY KRASNER ON HIS ELECTION VICTORY

November 8, 2017 by

PHILADELPHIA (Nov. 8, 2017) – Philadelphia District Attorney Kelley B. Hodge released the following statement congratulating District Attorney Elect Larry Krasner on his November 7, 2017, general election victory:

“Congratulations to District Attorney Elect Larry Krasner on your election victory. All of us in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office stand ready to make your transition to becoming Philadelphia’s 26th District Attorney seamless.

“Leading this office is an honor and privilege. The dedicated public servants in this Office, who you will soon have the honor to work with, like you, are unflinching in their desire to give a voice to the victims of crime and making Philadelphia a safe place to live, work, and raise a family.  My time as Philadelphia’s District Attorney has been extremely rewarding. And while the work is expectedly challenging, I am sure your tenure will provide you with the same sense of purpose as a public servant and accomplishment as my tenure as given to me. Again, Congratulations and Godspeed.”

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PHILADELPHIA DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S ELECTION FRAUD TASK FORCE AND COMMITTEE OF 70 ARE PREPARED FOR ELECTION DAY

November 2, 2017 by

PHILADELPHIA (Nov. 3, 2017) – Philadelphia District Attorney Kelley B. Hodge and CEO of the Committee of Seventy David Thornburgh today reminded voters to get ready for Election Day and to call the District Attorney’s Election Fraud Task Force if they experience any difficulty casting their ballot. The Office’s hotline numbers are 215-686-9641, 9643 and 9644.

“On November seventh when the polls open, the Election Fraud Task Force will be fully staffed and strategically deployed through the City to quickly respond to any issues that may arise,” said Kelley B. Hodge, Philadelphia District Attorney. “If anyone has trouble casting their vote or sees something that they believe is illegal, they should immediately call the Task Force at 215-686-9641 so our Detectives and Assistant District Attorneys can look into the potential violation.”

Over the past twenty years, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office and the Committee of Seventy have partnered to protect each Philadelphian’s vote and to monitor Election Day complaints. The Election Fraud Task Force will also coordinate its efforts with the City Commissioners and Philadelphia’s Central Election Court to respond to any election-related concerns. As always, if the need arises, the Task Force can enlist additional ADAs on Election Day to respond to emerging issues. Typically, the Task Force is asked to respond to allegations of illegal voting, candidate write-in issues, refusal of election boards to recognize poll watcher certificates, intimidation, and illegal electioneering.

“We applaud the District Attorney’s Office and Election Fraud Task Force for their efforts in preparing for Tuesday’s election,” said Committee of Seventy CEO David Thornburgh. “But their oversight only works when voters and others at the polls report potentially illegal behavior. If you see something, say something.”

The Committee of Seventy will be complementing the efforts of the District Attorney and the City Commissioners with its Election Ambassador Corps of high school students who can help answer questions for voters at the polls or direct them to city officials when issues arise. Seventy is also distributing an online survey to gauge voters’ experience with the voting process and confidence in the system. Voters with questions on Election Day can reach Seventy staff at 215-557-3600.

In 2014, the Election Fraud Task Force was created to investigate and prosecute allegations of Election Day criminal activity. The Task Force continues to be part of the District Attorney’s Special Investigations Unit and is staffed by Assistant District Attorneys and Detectives. The DAO will also issue Election Day updates via its Twitter account while the polls are open.

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THIS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE AND OFFICE OF VICTIM ADVOCATE MAKE PROGRESS IN PROVIDING IMPORTANT SERVICES TO THE VICTIMS OF CRIME

October 25, 2017 by

DA Contact:   Cameron Kline, 215-686-8711, cameron.kline@phila.gov

OVA Contact: Jennifer Storm, 717-756-9741, jstorm@pa.gov

 

PHILADELPHIA (Oct. 26, 2017) – To mark Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office (DAO) and Pennsylvania’s Office of Victim Advocate (OVA) today announced that they are serving more victims of crime through a continuum of county and state services. Currently, OVA has registered 47 percent more clients this year.

“Thanks to the partnership between the District Attorney’s Office and Pennsylvania’s Office of Victim Advocate we are doing a much better job at providing important services to the victims of crime,” said Kelley Hodge, Philadelphia District Attorney. “Our partners, some of which include the Anti-Violence Partnership and Women Against Abuse, now have a direct line into our Victim Witness Services Unit and a dedicated professional from the OVA who is specially trained to help our clients get the services they need and deserve. As of today, we are currently providing post sentencing services to about 1,000 Philadelphians whose offenders have been sentenced to state prison, and we continue to focus on helping victims stay safe, make their voices heard, and begin to heal.”

The DAO and OVA credit the increase in services to the creation and co-location of a dedicated Victim Assistance Coordinator from the OVA in the DAO’s Office of Victim Witness Service Unit. The Coordinator regularly registers and submits victim testimonies and works one-on-one with the various Units in the DAO to ensure that victims are notified of their post-sentencing rights and their opportunity to participate in programs. Some program examples include, the Victim/Offender Dialogue Program, safety planning services, notifications about an offender’s parole eligibility, and their right to provide comments to the Parole Board during the parole process.

“I am thrilled with the result of this partnership already, we knew a presence in Philadelphia was necessary to ensure all crime victims fully understood their post-conviction rights. We are grateful to the DOA for collaborating with us to ensure all crime victims feel acknowledged, empowered and informed,” said Pennsylvania Victim Advocate Jennifer Storm.

OVA’s presence in DAO also provides for increased collaboration and partnerships among the many victim service agencies in the Philadelphia community, in addition to improved communication and strategic planning between non-profit and local government agencies. Some of these agencies include neighborhood based victim serving organizations, the Anti-Violence Partnership, Women Against Abuse, Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly (CARIE), the CHARLES Foundation, Every Murder Is Real (EMIR), and the National Homicide Justice Alliance; among other advocacy groups. These groups recently gathered together for the first time as a working-group to collaborate on ways to improve service provision to Homicide co-victims and survivors.

Additionally, OVA has been working with the Anti-Violence Partnership and the DAO to create a support group for families and individuals who have been victimized by defendants who committed murder as a juvenile and are now facing the difficult resentencing process. OVA has worked closely with the Office to ensure that the victims of these crimes are supported during and after the process.

The OVA was established in 1995 and diligently works to provide victims of crime with notifications, support and advocacy services. This is the first collaboration of this kind and the first on site office for the OVA in a non-state entity. For more information on Office of Victim Advocate, visit their website at www.ova.pa.gov.

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PHILADELPHIA DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE NAMES NINE IN CITY-WIDE STREET GAMBLING STING

October 19, 2017 by

PHILADELPHIA (Oct. 20, 2017) – Philadelphia District Attorney Kelley B. Hodge today announced charges against nine people associated with one of the largest illegal street lottery organizations in Philadelphia. The operation, run by Gary Creagh Sr., generated millions of dollars of illicit profits. A multi-year investigation into the operation was led by the Office’s Task Force on Illegal Gambling, which is funded by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, and was aided by the Philadelphia Police Department’s Vice Squad. A Philadelphia County investigating grand jury recommended the following charges:

Gary Creagh Sr. (DOB: 6-21-51), Frank Creagh (DOB: 6-19-67), William Creagh (DOB: 4-4-68), Kerri Creagh (DOB: 2-21-67), Mark Matera (DOB: 1-6-55), John McAnaney (DOB: 7-30-33), Jabbar Curry (DOB: 5-20-60), Kenneth Athy (DOB: 3-15-41), and Carlos Santiago (DOB: 5-13-39). Each person has been charged with Corrupt Organization (F-1), Dealing in the Proceeds of Unlawful Activities (F-1), Criminal conspiracy (F-1), and Illegal Lotteries (M-1). All of the defendants have been arrested, and if convicted each defendant could receive up to 65 years of incarceration.

“The illegal Creagh organization was truly a family affair, one that generated millions of dollars from dozens of nondescript locations across the City of Philadelphia,” said Kelley B. Hodge, District Attorney. “To the men and women of the Grand Jury, thank you for your hard work on this case. To our partners in the Philadelphia Police Department and the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, I am appreciative of the support and resources you brought to this investigation and I congratulate everyone who worked on this case for shutting down this elaborate and illegal street lottery organization.”

The Creagh organization, which was controlled and led by Gary Creagh, Sr., employed dozens of individuals and operated in approximately 40 locations throughout the City. The operations were highly organized and located in unmarked buildings throughout the City, typically in low-income neighborhoods. “Players” would knock on one of the unmarked storefronts and would be admitted if they were known or not perceived as a threat. Each location typically had two employees, one watching the door and the other took and processed the bets.

“The quality of this investigation, and arrests which followed, are examples of outstanding collaborative work by several law enforcement agencies. We truly appreciate all of our law enforcement partners and the work they do,” said Richard Ross, Philadelphia Police Commissioner.

“We are pleased to see the Local Law Enforcement Grants awarded by our agency used effectively to thwart illegal and unregulated gambling,” said Executive Director Kevin F. O’Toole of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

A breakdown of what each defendant did for the organization follows:

  • Gary Creagh Sr. was the owner and chief operator of the enterprise;
  • Frank Creagh, Gary Creagh Sr.’s nephew, was assigned to collect money from workers and assisted in the overall management of the operation;
  • William Creagh assisted in the maintenance and management of the organization;
  • Kerri Creagh, Gary Creagh Sr.’s daughter, assisted in the financial management of the illegal proceeds earned from the lottery and in the overall operation of the enterprise;
  • Mark Matera owned several lottery locations with Creagh, collected money from the lottery locations, and assisted in the overall maintenance and management of the enterprise; and
  • Kenneth Athy, Jabbar Curry, John McAnaney, and Carlos Santiago were employees who worked directly in picking up and delivering money to and from the locations.

All of these defendants were also tasked with maintaining the overall organization and making sure each location ran smoothly. For example, they made sure each of the locations was staffed and well supplied with office supplies; carbon betting slips; telephones; tables; chairs; and coffee makers, coffee cups, cream, sugar, and paper towels. Creagh often would pay the utilities and taxes on a number of the locations, regardless of whether he owned them or not.

To place a bet, a player would fill out a carbon bet slip with their name, numbers picked, and the amount to bet on each number. The carbon bet slips would then be separated into a white copy for the organization and a yellow copy for the player. The lottery offered several betting options for players. Some included bets based on numbers selected in Pennsylvania’s Daily Number and the Big 4 lottery drawings. Winning numbers were also chosen from designated horse races throughout the day. Players could cast bets between 10¢ and $20 depending on the game. The street lottery paid winners a greater value for winning numbers, 700 to 1, compared to the Commonwealth’s legal lottery that pays 500 to 1.

Detectives from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office and officers from the Philadelphia Police Department conducted surveillance and undercover operations at numerous street lottery locations. The investigation uncovered dozens of locations where bets were placed. More than 30 locations had direct links to Gary Creagh Sr.

The Grand Jury heard extensive evidence about the assets and cash flow of the street lottery enterprise and of Gary Creagh Sr. Over a thirty month period between 2011 and 2014, for example, Creagh deposited over $3 million into his personal accounts. Many of the deposits were made in cash and extensively deposited on the same dates in different banks. None of the cash deposits exceeded $9,000, and the majority of the deposits did not exceed $5,000. Over the last several years, Creagh spent almost $500,000 on luxury vehicles and millions of dollars to purchase numerous properties in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Florida, and Nevada.

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JOINT TASK FORCE MAKES $370,000 HEROIN AND FENTANYL BUST IN OXFORD CIRCLE

September 18, 2017 by

PHILADELPHIA (Sept. 18, 2017) – Philadelphia District Attorney Kelley B. Hodge today announced the results of a successful joint investigation with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Philadelphia Division that led to an arrest and the confiscation of approximately $370,000 in heroin and fentanyl. Frank Merehildo Rondon (DOB: 11-19-96) has been arrested and charged with Possession with the Intent to Deliver (Ungraded Felony) and Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Misdemeanor of the 1st degree). If found guilty, the defendant could face approximately 20 years in prison.

In addition to drug paraphernalia, packaging materials, and heroin stamps; officers from the joint task force seized bulk heroin and fentanyl from a property on the 1000 block of Rosalie St. in the Oxford Circle section of the City. The confiscated drugs weighed about 600 grams, which included 20 racks of heroin totaling 3060 packets.

“The poison that is contained in just a small amount of these drugs is catastrophic,” said Kelley B. Hodge, District Attorney for the City of Philadelphia. “And this bust was literally around the corner from a Philadelphia High School, so I am so very thankful to the men and women of the Office’s Dangerous Drug Offender Unit and our partners in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Philadelphia Division, Group 51 for taking this heroin and fentanyl off of our streets,” said Kelley B. Hodge, District Attorney for the City of Philadelphia.

“This seizure, which was the result of a joint investigation by the DEA, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, and the Philadelphia Police Department, represents a substantial amount of heroin and fentanyl. The packaging and stamps, one of which was “Super O.D.,” recovered from this residence indicate that these drugs were ready to be packaged and distributed on the streets of our communities,” said Gary Tuggle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Philadelphia Field Division. “In 2016, fentanyl and fentanyl related substances were responsible for 52% of the 4,642 drug overdose deaths across Pennsylvania. In the midst of the most damaging drug epidemic in our history, this seizure will undoubtedly save lives.”

Members of the task force have been conducting investigations into heroin distributors operating in Philadelphia and received information that a male was selling heroin from the Rosalie St. property. Investigators set up their surveillance operation and on numerous occasions observed Rondon meeting with individuals for drug sales. On Sept. 13, 2017, investigators obtained a search and seizure warrant for the Rosalie St. property. There were seven individuals in the residence, including Rondon, and a 10 year old child and an infant. The property was secured and Philadelphia’s Department of Human Services was notified about the child.

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