Douglass (Montgomery) Official IDs Fellow Supervisor As Subject Of D.A. Investigation

Location of Douglass Township in Montgomery County

Location of Douglass Township in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

DOUGLASS TOWNSHIP (MONTGOMERY COUNTY) — The name of the township supervisor being investigated by Montgomery County Detectives was made public this week — by another supervisor.

At the May 19 board of supervisors meeting, Vice Chairman Anthony Kuklinski said publicly that fellow Supervisor Fred Ziegler is the subject of the county investigation first reported in the Feb. 25 edition of The Mercury.

In February, Township Solicitor Paul Bauer confirmed that the township had referred a matter concerning one of the elected supervisors to the Montgomery County Detective Bureau, but refused to name the supervisor.

Bauer did not return phone messages left at his office Thursday and Friday.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140523/douglass-mont-official-ids-fellow-supervisor-as-subject-of-da-investigation

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Contractor Gets $1.6M, Apology From Montgomery County DA’s Office

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office has agreed to pay $1.65 million to settle claims that District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman brought unfounded theft charges against a Radnor building contractor at the behest of a church that counts prominent county officials among its members.

As part of the agreement, confirmed by the contractor’s lawyers Tuesday, Ferman apologized to Walter Logan, a man whose alleged crimes she once described as “particularly despicable” and “really very low.”

Those words, delivered to a TV news crew, came hours after her office charged Logan in 2009 with bilking hundreds of thousands of dollars from Salem Baptist Church of Jenkintown after a contract dispute.

In a statement to Logan as part of their agreement, and released Tuesday by his attorneys, Ferman struck a different tone.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/20140426_Contractor_gets__1_6M__apology_from_Montco_DA_s_office.html#QRERrQv5H04R55Bk.99

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Birdsboro Men Among 6 Indicted On Sex Charges With Limerick Boy (with mugshots)

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NORRISTOWN, PA — Calling it a “significant” crackdown against child exploitation, authorities have charged six men, including two from Birdsboro and another from Upper Providence, with having inappropriate contact with a teenage boy from Limerick.

Mark David “Wilco” Wilczopolski, 22, of the 500 block of East Second Street, Birdsboro, was indicted by federal authorities on Thursday for allegedly using the Internet to entice a teenage boy to engage in sexual conduct and receiving and possessing child pornography, according to U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger.

Montgomery County authorities previously charged Wilczopolski with unlawful contact or communications with a minor and related offenses in connection with incidents that occurred between May and October 2013 with the 14-year-old Limerick boy, according to court documents. Wilczopolski is already awaiting trial on those charges in county court.

The federal indictment against Wilczopolski was announced by Memeger at a joint news conference Friday with county District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman, Limerick Police Chief William Albany and other federal officials. Wilczopolski was scheduled to be arraigned in federal court Friday afternoon.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140425/birdsboro-men-among-6-indicted-on-sex-charges-with-limerick-boy-with-mugshots

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State Revives Rape Case Against Ex-Montogomery County GOP Chairman

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

State prosecutors have filed rape charges against former Montgomery County Republican Party chairman Robert Kerns, reviving a case that collapsed when county investigators misread lab test results from the woman who accused him of assaulting her last fall.

Kerns was expected to surrender Friday, according to the office of Attorney General Kathleen Kane.

The announcement comes about six weeks after Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman abruptly dropped all 19 charges against Kerns, including felony counts of raping an unconscious victim and raping a substantially impaired person.

Through his lawyer, Kerns, 66, of North Wales, had previously denied any wrongdoing. The lawyer, Brian McMonagle, could not immediately be reached for comment Friday morning.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20140425_State_revives_rape_case_against_ex-Montco_GOP_chairman.html#HdB6fTEkDxXXBVvt.99

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Two Haverford School Graduates Charged With Selling Drugs At Main Line High Schools And Colleges

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Two graduates of the Haverford School on the Main Line were arrested Monday after authorities said they led a drug trafficking ring the dealers called “the Main Line takeover project” that targeted local high schools and colleges.

As the name implied, the goal of the dealers was to “take over from existing drug dealers the marijuana business in the Main Line section of Montgomery County,” authorities said.

The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office said that Neil K. Scott, 25, of Haverford, and Timothy C. Brooks, 18, of Villanova, employed high school students at Lower Merion, Harriton, Conestoga, and Radnor High Schools and college students at Haverford, Gettysburg and Lafayette Colleges to be “sub-dealers.”

The ring allegedly also sold cocaine, hash oil and ecstasy to students on the Main Line, police said.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20140422_Police__Drug_ring_specialized_in_high_schools__colleges.html#3mVqFJ2QWKZ5UwsK.99

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10 Men Arrested In Montgomery Township Prostitution Sting

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On April 11, 2014, the Montgomery Township Police Department and the Montgomery County Detective Bureau organized a sting operation targeting human trafficking and the commercial sex trade in the Montgomeryville section of Montgomery Township. On this date, officers placed an online advertisement offering prostitution services. In response to this advertisement, hundreds of communications (text messages and phone calls) took place. Each defendant agreed to pay money for sexual services prior to their arrest.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20140414/10-men-arrested-in-montgomery-township-prostitution-sting

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Second Suspect Arrested In Pottstown Murder

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN, PA — The second suspect in the Dec. 27 murder of a Pottstown man was arrested in Philadelphia after eluding police for almost two weeks.

Daquan Hamilton, 20, of Philadelphia, was arrested Wednesday in a house in the 5000 block of North 21st Street in Philadelphia, according to a press release from Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman.

Hamilton was charged with first-, second-, and third-degree murder in the death of 22-year-old George Hashimbey on Dec. 27, 2013. Khaleef Jones, 21, of Philadelphia was charged with first and second-degree murder in connection with the murder.

Hamilton and Jones allegedly forced their way into a fifth-floor apartment at King Street Commons Apartments, then the two suspects shot two of the three men in the apartment, according to the press release.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140108/second-suspect-arrested-in-pottstown-murder

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Investigation Continuing Into Homicide At Pottstown Apartment

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN, PA — One man was killed and another man injured early Friday in a middle of the night shooting in the King Street Commons apartments at King and Charlotte streets.

The victim was identified Friday as George Hashimbey, 22, who was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Montgomery County Coroner Dr. Walter Hofman.

Court records obtained by The Mercury show Hashimbey with addresses in Pottstown and in Philadelphia.

Hofman said Hashimbey died of a gunshot wound to the stomach and chest area. Hofman ruled the death a homicide after the autopsy was completed Friday.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20131227/updated-pottstown-shooting-victim-identified

22-Year-Old Dead After Overnight Shooting In Pottstown

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

UPDATED 9:47 a.m.) POTTSTOWN, PA — After an overnight shooting in the borough, one person is dead and one person is in the hospital.

Police responded to the 5th floor of the King Street Commons apartment building at 262 King St. around 12:36 a.m. Friday.

According to the Montgomery County District Attorney, the 22-year-old victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

The body of the victim was carried out of the building by officials from the Montgomery County Coroner’s office at 9:15 Friday morning.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20131227/video-22-year-old-dead-after-overnight-shooting-in-pottstown

FOX29 Investigates Local Property Manager

FOX29 investigative reporter Jeff Cole interviews Katy Jackson, a Pottstown civic activist, while trying to get to the bottom of why Affinity Property Management Company, formerly located on High Street in downtown Pottstown, owes their clients thousands of dollars.  The office closed in May.

To watch this segment, click here: http://www.myfoxphilly.com/story/23939642/fox29-investigates-local-property-manager#.UoGxgbf9ra0.facebook

Judge Expunges Matthews’ Criminal Record; Grand Jury Documents Retained

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

MONTGOMERY COUNTY COURTHOUSE — The criminal record of the former chairman of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners was expunged Friday, with the exception of materials contained in a grand jury report that led to his arrest more than a year ago.

Court of Common Pleas Senior Judge William T. Nicholas granted the petition to expunge the misdemeanor charge of false swearing to a grand jury against James Matthews, who was arrested and resigned as board chairman in December 2011.

But the judge’s order included an amendment that information contained in the grand jury transcripts and exhibits leveled against Matthews — following an investigation into the Montgomery County commissioners two years ago — would not be expunged.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/government-and-politics/20131025/judge-expunges-matthews-criminal-record-grand-jury-documents-retained/1

6 Charged In Reading-Based Methamphetamine Ring

English: Crystal methamphetamine

English: Crystal methamphetamine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NORRISTOWN, PA – Six men have been charged as part of a Reading-based drug ring that sold bulk amounts of crystal methamphetamine in Berks and Montgomery counties as it tried to stir up local demand for the drug, officials announced today.

Operation Breaking Bad, as it was named by law enforcement, was a 10-month multi-agency investigation that broke up the high-level meth and cocaine trafficking ring, Berks District Attorney John T. Adams and Montgomery District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said during a press conference here.

The six men charged were all Mexican nationals living in the U.S. illegally, five of whom were deported, then returned illegally, Adams said.

They were arraigned today and are in Montgomery County Prison awaiting further court action.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=515964

Official: West Pottsgrove Murder Victim Was Shot In The Back

Location of West Pottsgrove Township in Montgo...

Location of West Pottsgrove Township in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WEST POTTSGROVE TOWNSHIP — In the day following the shocking murder of a 19-year-old taken by gunpoint from his West Pottsgrove home, who exactly that young man was remains a complicated question.

Kareem Ali Borowy died in the grass at the side of the 2100 block of Sanatoga Station Road Sunday around 2:30 p.m., not long after the abduction from the house on the 1200 block of Manatawny Street.

Montgomery County First Assistant District Attorney Kevin Steele said an autopsy conducted Monday morning determined Borowy died from a gunshot wound to the back.

The manner of death was ruled a homicide, he said.

Several readers told The Mercury that Kareem was the adopted son of Ruth Borowy, who reportedly adopted Kareem and his three siblings — two sisters and a brother — out of Philadelphia and brought them to the Boyertown area.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130506/NEWS01/130509526/official-west-pottsgrove-murder-victim-was-shot-in-the-back#full_story

West Pottsgrove Home Invasion Leads To Murder

Location of Lower Pottsgrove Township in Montg...

Location of Lower Pottsgrove Township in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

LOWER POTTSGROVE  TOWNSHIP— A man was abducted from his home at gunpoint and later died in Lower Pottsgrove on the side of  on Sunday afternoon, authorities said.

According to a release from the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, Kareem Ali Borowy, 19, was taken from his home on the 1200 block of Manatawny Street by “multiple suspects with handguns” in broad daylight around 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon.

The gunmen allegedly demanded money before taking Borowy.

“Investigators have determined that Borowy was targeted for this robbery and it now appears this was not a random act,” the release said.

Read more:   http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130506/NEWS01/130509617/west-pottsgrove-home-invasion-leads-to-murder#full_story

State Legislators Respond To ACLU Lawsuit Against Norristown

Location of Norristown in Montgomery County

Location of Norristown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NORRISTOWN — Rep. Mike Vereb (R-150th Dist.) and Rep. Todd Stephens (R-151st Dist.), along with Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman urged Norristown officials to repeal or modify its controversial nuisance ordinance to protect victims of domestic abuse and discussed possible legislation to ensure that those victims would be protected statewide at a press conference on Tuesday morning.

The ordinance, which is currently being challenged in federal court by the American Civil Liberties Union, was adopted in 2008 and permitted the suspension or revocation of a rental license if the police are called to the property three times for disorderly behavior.

“For me, the most important part of today is speaking directly to the victims of domestic violence who are in the community,” said Ferman.  “I think it’s so important that they know that they can call the police.  They should call the police.  They should call for help.  We will not allow anything to stand in their way and we will be here to support them.”

“We’re here for victims, to let them know that we’re not going to allow any borough, municipal, or city ordinance get in the way of their access to help,” said Vereb.  “We should focus on the goal here.  The goal is to get the thugs off of the streets and out of the rental properties.”

Read more:  http://www.timesherald.com/article/20130430/NEWS01/130439974/state-legislators-respond-to-aclu-lawsuit-against-norristown#full_story

Manhunt For Alleged Pottstown Killer Ends; Maurice Andrews Apprehended

NORRISTOWN – A Pottstown man, the subject of a police manhunt for his alleged role in a plot to execute another man in a hail of bullets outside a borough bar, is no longer on the run.

Maurice Laverne “Reece” Andrews Jr., 19, whose last known address was in the first block of North Charlotte Street, has been apprehended by Montgomery County detectives in connection with the 2:17 a.m. March 22 gunshot slaying of Victor Enrique Bonilla Baez outside Brian’s Café in the 300 block of Jefferson Avenue.

“We never stopped looking for Mr. Andrews.  It was a 24 hour, seven-day-a-week pursuit of Mr. Andrews and ultimately we were able to apprehend him due to the great work of our detectives and law enforcement agencies,” Assistant District Attorney Nathan Schadler said on Tuesday.  “This was a full court press.  We used every means available. It ended successfully.”

Andrews is charged with first-, second- and third-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and firearms violations in connection with the alleged shooting death of Baez, who authorities said was unarmed. Authorities alleged Andrews was involved in an ongoing feud with Baez at the time of the fatal shooting.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130430/NEWS01/130439953/manhunt-for-alleged-pottstown-killer-ends-maurice-andrews-apprehended#full_story

Police Search for Man Accused of Pottstown Murder

POTTSTOWN — A Pottstown man is the subject of a police manhunt for his alleged role in “a deliberate plot to execute” another man, with whom he was involved in an ongoing feud, in a hail of bullets outside a borough bar, according to authorities.

An arrest warrant was issued Wednesday for Maurice Laverne “Reece” Andrews Jr., 19, whose last known address was in the first block of North Charlotte Street, in connection with the 2:17 a.m. March 22 slaying of Victor Enrique Bonilla Baez outside Brian’s Café in the 300 block of Jefferson Avenue.

Attempts to apprehend Andrews have been unsuccessful and authorities are seeking the public’s assistance. Authorities said Andrews has ties to Pottstown, Norristown and Philadelphia.

“I would encourage anyone not to try to stop him themselves.  He should be considered armed and dangerous,” said Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman, urging anyone with information about Andrews’ whereabouts to immediately contact police or county detectives.  “Our biggest concern is this individual is armed and dangerous and he could pose a threat to someone else.  This is someone that we need to capture safely for the safety of the community and to bring justice to this case.”

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130411/NEWS01/130419910/pottstown-man-subject-of-manhunt-for-alleged-slaying-outside-bar#full_story

2 Charged In Shooting Death Of Pottstown Man

The following press release was just issued by the Montgomery County District Attorney regarding murder charges of the March 22 shooting in Pottstown:

Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman and Pottstown Police Chief Mark Flanders and Captain F. Richard Drumheller announce the filing of murder charges against Michael Hinton and Maurice Andrews Jr. for the shooting death of Victor Enrique Bonilla Baez, also known as Vincent Taylor.

On Friday, March 22, 2013, at approximately 2:17 a.m., Pottstown Police responded to the 300 block of Jefferson Avenue for the report of a gunshot victim.  Upon arrival police found Victor Enrique Bonilla Baez lying on the street outside of Brian’s Café.  Baez had suffered multiple gunshot wounds to his torso.  Baez was rushed to Pottstown Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival.

On March 22, 2013, Doctor Erica Williams, a Forensic Pathologist, performed an autopsy on Victor Enrique Bonilla Baez.  Following the autopsy, Doctor Williams opined that the cause of Baez’s death was multiple gunshot wounds and the manner of death was homicide.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130410/NEWS01/130419952/2-charged-in-shooting-death-of-pottstown-man

Pottstown Borough Authority Adopts New Policy In Wake Of Water Theft Case

POTTSTOWN,PA — If a silver lining could be said to exist in the case of the landlord accused of stealing borough water at multiple properties, it could be said that it brought the problem to the attention of the authorities.

Or, in this case, the Pottstown Borough Authority.

In June, landlord Frank McLaughlin of East Coventry was arrested  by Pottstown police and charged with theft of services after devices designed to by-pass water meters were found inside multiple properties he owned.

That case is still working its way through the courts, but the borough authority’s board wasted no time in acting at its Nov. 27 meeting and adopting a policy designed to minimize the loss once such a by-pass device has been discovered.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20121202/NEWS01/121209923/pottstown-borough-authority-adopts-new-policy-in-wake-of-water-theft-case#full_story

Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman Investigating Matthews And Hoeffel For Sunshine Law Violations

Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman has decided to open an investigation into alleged Sunshine Law violations by Montgomery County Commissioners Joe Hoeffel and Jim Matthews.  The two commissioners were overheard discussing county business by a Times Herald report who broke the story.

Read all about it in the Times Herald:

http://www.timesherald.com/articles/2010/12/03/news/doc4cf86cb4d9f12848926191.txt?viewmode=fullstory

It would be nice if DA Ferman would have this sense of urgency with our drug war problem, right here in River City.