HUNTINGDON - A two-year drug investigation yielded at least six area arrests and severed a major Philadelphia-to-Huntingdon heroin pipeline this week, officials said Friday.
"This is, in my opinion, the largest heroin [case] in the history of Huntingdon County," District Attorney George Zanic said.
Police made four arrests Tuesday in Huntingdon County, seizing 2,000 bags of heroin and apprehending the man a narcotics investigator called "the big guy" in the ring.
"We worked our way up to him," Attorney General's Office narcotics supervisor James Walstrom said of Curtis Koehler, 31, originally of Westmoreland County.
Walstrom said a drug ring moved the heroin from Philadelphia to Allentown, and ultimately to Huntingdon, where users from surrounding counties likely traveled for the product. The business netted Koehler and his compatriots an estimated $90,000 a week, he said, with more than $100,000 worth of heroin found during the raid.
Investigators nabbed two more alleged traffickers on Wednesday, Walstrom said, and Allentown police captured the ring's alleged Philadelphia-based organizer on Thursday.
Philadelphia-to-Huntingdon drug ring arrests
Arrested this week in Huntingdon County:
Curtis Koehler, 31, New Kensington - two charges, drug possession with intent to deliver
Jamie McCall, 30, Huntingdon - two charges, drug possession with intent to deliver
Daniel Sheffield, 29, Huntingdon - two charges, drug possession with intent to deliver
Adam Fye, 23, Huntingdon - drug possession with intent to deliver, criminal use of a communication facility
Arrested Oct. 13 in a Huntingdon County highway stop:
Dusten Holland, 25, Huntingdon - drug possession with intent to deliver
Travis Park, 33, Huntingdon - drug possession with intent to deliver, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving under the influence
More traffickers remain to be caught in the multi-agency investigation, he said; police first worked their way up the supply chain, then back down as higher-ranking members were caught.
The endgame began with the September heroin arrests of four Huntingdon brothers - William Spell, Kenneth Spell, Phillip Spell and Thomas Spell Jr. - before expanding to the eastern half of the state.
"We have a pretty good handle on who the remaining players are," Walstrom said, stressing that anyone else involved in the alleged drug ring would be wise to turn themselves in before police find them.
Zanic said as many as 11 jailed criminals will likely face new charges as a result of the investigation.
The two-year hunt included the Huntingdon County Drug Task Force, the Attorney General's Office, state police, the Huntingdon County District Attorney's Office and Allentown police, Walstrom said.
"There are a lot more people who will be arrested," Zanic said.
Mirror Staff Writer Ryan Brown is at 946-7457.