New Details Emerge About Lancaster Men Named In Pornographic Email Scandal

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

A Lancaster County man, who formerly worked in the Attorney General’s office under Gov. Tom Corbett, reportedly forwarded 30 sexually-charged emails he received as part of an office porn-swapping scandal.

The file on Richard Sheetz — one of four released publicly to various media outlets by Attorney General Kathleen Kane Friday — showed that the East Hempfield resident received scores of the sexually-charged emails. And on about 30 occasions he passed them on.

The information released by Kane’s office contains no direct evidence of whether the emails were opened by any of the eight former Corbett staffers named thus far, according to PennLive. The emails were released in response to media requests.

Sheetz, who was executive deputy attorney general directing the criminal law division under Corbett, now works in the Lancaster County district attorney’s office. He has not responded to several messages left at his home and office.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/new-details-emerge-about-lancaster-men-named-in-pornographic-email/article_b617160c-4d69-11e4-949a-001a4bcf6878.html

Corbett Stands By One Of His Appointees In Porn Scandal, Wants Another To Resign

GOV. CORBETT is standing by one state law-enforcement official caught up in a porn scandal, but has asked another to resign.

Corbett says information released this week by state Attorney General Kathleen Kane does not show that State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan opened any of the more than 300 explicit emails he received while working as a top deputy to Corbett when the governor served as attorney general.

Noonan has told the governor he did not look at the files, a Corbett spokeswoman said.

A source familiar with the porn scandal said Randy Feathers, another top deputy when Corbett was attorney general, is resisting for now the governor’s request to resign his post on the state Board of Probation and Parole.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/20141005_Corbett_stands_by_one_of_his_appointees_in_porn_scandal__wants_another_to_resign.html#BhkWAdZgxCUCrRcS.99

Two Top DEP Officials Resign Over Porn E-Mails

HARRISBURG, PA – Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Secretary E. Christopher Abruzzo and a top aide resigned Thursday over revelations that they were among dozens of state officials who sent or received pornographic e-mails over state computers.

In a letter to Gov. Corbett, Abruzzo said he had not been able to review the explicit messages he allegedly sent or received, but said he accepted responsibility for “any lack of judgment” he may have exhibited. He added: “It is my concern that these assertions have become a distraction from the great record of this administration.”

Hours later, the department’s deputy chief counsel, Glenn Parno, also resigned.

Their resignations made them the first high-ranking casualties of a scandal that has coursed through the capital as Corbett vies for a second term and one that widened Thursday to touch one of the state’s most prominent judges, Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/20141003_Pa_s_top_environmental_officer_resigns_over_porn_emails.html#rTEg263Y3FKsULCE.99

Gun Violence Escalating In Pottstown, Again…

Warm weather does tend to bring out the criminal element in Pottstown.  Since May 18th there have been a number of incidents of gun violence reported by the Pottstown Mercury and WFMZ-TV.

Here is a recap of what’s been going on:

Armed robbery at the Gulf Station on High Street on May 18th: http://m.wfmz.com/pottstown-armed-robber-on-the-loose/26046054

Student arrested at Pottstown High School, allegedly robs another student at gunpoint on May 28th: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140528/updated-student-arrested-at-pottstown-high-school

Shooting near Brian’s Cafe (scene of a murder last year) on May 31st:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140531/updated-late-night-pottstown-shooting-sends-man-to-hospital

Armed robbery at Wells Fargo Bank on High Street (East End) on May 31st: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140531/updated-high-street-bank-robbed-fbi-seeks-armed-suspect

Police investigating gunshots near Wilson and Spruce Streets on June 2nd: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140602/pottstown-police-investigating-gunshots-near-wilson-and-spruce-streets

Police are investigating a shooting in Pottstown on Chestnut Street on June 3rd: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140603/updated-man-injured-after-shooting-in-pottstown-video

UPDATE: Police are investigating a homicide on Jefferson Avenue in Pottstown on June 5th: https://www.facebook.com/CrimeInPottstown and also the Pottstown Mercuryhttp://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140606/man-found-dead-in-car-in-pottstown

I think the examples above should be some kind of RED FLAG that there is a problem with violent crime in the borough.  And frankly, these are just the big incidents that I could find quickly to illustrate this problem.  A town of 22,480 (2012) should not have this much crime.

People are afraid.  People should expect more for their extremely HIGH TAXES.  If the Pottstown Police Department is overwhelmed then by all means call Harrisburg and ask for some help.  HINT:  Kathleen Kane’s Office for starters.  There is nothing wrong with asking for assistance.  Be proactive instead of reactive.  Maybe “keeping a lid on the powder keg” needs to be replaced with a better strategy?????

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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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Attorney General Kathleen Kane, Hazleton Police Chief Hail Success

HAZLETON, PA — Attorney General Kathleen Kane and Police Chief Frank DeAndrea pointed to the successes of Kane’s Mobile Street Crime Unit on Wednesday and asked residents of Hazleton and across the commonwealth to help the success continue.

At the urging of state Sen. John Yudichak to address violent drug-related crime plaguing Northeastern Pennsylvania, Kane organized the Region X Intensive Mobile Proactive Anti-Crime Team — IMPACT — task force and deployed it to Hazleton in September to dismantle gang-run drug trafficking networks.

The approximately 20-member team, composed of federal, state, county and municipal law enforcement officers, racked up more than 120 arrests and seized about 35,000 packets of heroin, quantities of crack cocaine, numerous vehicles, handguns, rifles, an assault weapon and thousands of dollars in cash, with many of the items on display at a press conference at City Hall on Wednesday.

Yudichak, D-Plymouth Township, noted that a 2011 report by the U.S. Department of Justice detailed the foothold that drug-trafficking organizations had established in the Hazleton area and that branched off throughout Luzerne and surrounding counties.

Read more:  http://timesleader.com/news/local-news/1206626/Kane-Hazleton-chief-hail-success

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Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Street Crimes Unit Nets Over 100 Arrests In Hazleton

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

HAZLETON, PA — The state’s top cop came to Hazleton on Wednesday to trumpet the success of her Mobile Street Crimes Unit, which has netted more than 100 arrests and seized more than 35,000 packets of heroin in southern Luzerne County over the past five months.

Just in the last three days, state Attorney General Kathleen Kane said, agents made more than 40 arrests and seized 9,060 packets of heroin as part of Operation Rising Star — a moniker chosen by Hazleton Police Chief Frank DeAndrea.

Kane said Hazleton has been “a breeding ground” for the distribution of heroin, with interstates 80 and 81 nearby as a convenient pipeline to New York City and northern New Jersey suppliers.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news/1205689/Crimes-unit-nets-over-100-arrests-in-Hazleton-area

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Pennsylvania Heroin Ring Bust Nets 10

Counties constituting the Happy Valley Region ...

Counties constituting the Happy Valley Region of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Police arrested 10 people for drug possession and distribution offenses, marking the second phase in the dismantling of a heroin ring operating in Centre and Lycoming counties, Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane announced Thursday.

Evidence and testimony regarding the alleged drug network was presented to a statewide investigating grand jury, which recommended the criminal charges.

The grand jury found a New York heroin and cocaine source was living in Pleasant Gap and using residents to make drug deliveries in the State College and Williamsport areas, according to prosecutors. Investigators said agents used court-ordered wiretaps to determine area users and dealers were also getting heroin from contacts in Philadelphia and Williamsport.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/Alleged_heroin_ring_bust_nets_10.html#oA5Wd1EHG1HqFzOj.99

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DRUGS: The Epidemic Some Choose To Ignore

For some inexplicable reason, the “powers that be” in Pottstown seem to think that ignoring rampant drug use in the borough will make it go away.  As a blogger who posts news from around the state on a regular basis, I see how this problem has invaded the Commonwealth.  Drugs have crept into our smallest and remotest towns.

Drug use and drug dependence seem bring with them crime and violence.  Shootings, stabbings, burglaries etc…  I have made a point of posting articles along these lines so that anyone who reads this blog will see the alarming rise of drug use and drug related violence in our state.   Our Attorney General, Kathleen Kane has been particularly supportive in trying to ferret out drug dealers through various “sting operations” which have taken down a large numbers of dealers around the state.

One drug in particular is making an alarming comeback.  Heroin.  Pottstown is not immune to this trend.

Our story for today comes from a friend of mine who lives in Pottstown.  This person has “walked the talk” by being a public servant for a several years and is also a Mom.

Walking to school this morning, my son tells me he has seen two “thermometers” outside.  I stop, dead in my tracks, red flag warning.   I turn and retrace my steps.  Sure enough, two hypodermic needles are there on the sidewalk adjacent to the cemetery between 6th & 7th streets!  I picked them up and turned them in to the school office.  I did not want a young child walking to school to pick them up thinking they were “thermometers” also and possibly stick themselves.

So our lesson for today is that no matter how hard we wish something wasn’t a problem, it will not make it go away.

Thank goodness this Mom had the sense to retrace her steps and remove the threat, thereby protecting many other children.  Because of the neighborhood our courageous Mom lives in she unfortunately knows about such things.  Honestly, I would not have put two and two together and thought syringe.

So to the “powers that be” I say, “WAKE UP!”

To our courageous Mom I say, “Thank you!”

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PA Attorney General Charges 16 In Drug Ring

HARRISBURG, PA — A Luzerne County man was charged Thursday in connection with a drug trafficking ring being prosecuted by state Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s office.

A grand jury determined evidence is sufficient to charge Darryl Elliot, 27, of South Grant Street, Wilkes-Barre, and 15 others with drug trafficking and conspiracy.

Of those charged, Juan Carlos Alvarez, was already serving time in Lackawanna County Correctional Facility. The grand jury found Alvarez supplied other suspects with drugs from the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico to be distributed in New York City and Pennsylvania. Thirteen suspects are from Northumberland County.

Prosecutors do not know where one suspect, Joseph Galgocy, is from, according to a press release from the Attorney General’s Office.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/news/845389/AG-charges-16-in-drug-ring

Heroin Epidemic Spreads To Rural Areas, Official Says

English: Modified IM/IV syringe used for "...

English: Modified IM/IV syringe used for “plugging” heroin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

State Attorney General Kathleen Kane‘s top narcotics investigator identified cheap, potent Mexican heroin as the state’s No. 1 drug problem at a forum with Berks County municipal officials Monday at Penn State Berks.

Jonathan A. Duecker, special agent for narcotics control, said the heroin epidemic has spread from cities into rural areas and is challenging law enforcement agencies throughout the state.

“There’s no place in Pennsylvania that’s not seeing at a micro level what we’ve been seeing at a macro level in the big cities,” he said.

Duecker’s portrayal of the violence and crime that accompanies the availability of cheap heroin came at a forum sponsored by state Sen. Judy Schwank, a Ruscombmanor Democrat.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=502230

Reading Taking Aim At The Drug Trade

Editor’s note:  Dear Attorney General Kane.  Please zero in on Pottstown (18 miles from Reading).  It is overrun with drug dealers, Section 8 slumlords and has a very high crime rate.  The police force is overwhelmed.

Reading is one of the portals through which much of Pennsylvania is receiving illegal drugs, and state Attorney General Kathleen Kane has proposed a plan that she says could help stanch the flow.

“The major source of supply into Harrisburg and Lancaster and York is coming from Reading,” Kane said during an interview with the Reading Eagle at her office in Harrisburg.

Nearing the midway point of her first year in elective office, she said she viewed illegal drugs as the top issue for her in Berks County.  Other pressing issues include child sex predators and consumer protection.  Kane previously worked as a Lackawanna County prosecutor and as an attorney.

Supplies of crack, PCP, heroin or marijuana come to Reading from places such as Arizona, Illinois and New York, with the original major source being Mexico, Kane said.  In Reading, the drugs are repackaged into street-sale quantities and sent out to other parts of Pennsylvania.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=485005

New Pennsylvania Turnpike Head Says He’s Ready To Face Down Corruption

Pennsylvania Turnpike/Interstate 95 Interchang...

Pennsylvania Turnpike/Interstate 95 Interchange Project (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

HARRISBURG – The new chief executive of the troubled Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission says he’s glad a scathing grand jury report is finally out, despite its damning allegations of political corruption and influence-peddling within the agency.

“We all knew it was coming, so there is limited relief that it’s here,” Mark P. Compton said in his office overlooking the toll road, outside Harrisburg.  “Now we can deal with it.”

Supplied with the 85-page report, state Attorney General Kathleen Kane earlier this month filed criminal charges against eight men, including former State Sen. Robert Mellow (D., Lackawanna) and one of Compton’s predecessors, former Turnpike chief executive Joseph Brimmeier.

The grand jury said top turnpike officials solicited contractors for campaign contributions to favored politicians, including then-Gov. Ed Rendell, and took gifts of international travel, sports events, and lavish meals.  In return, the contributors’ companies received multimillion-dollar contracts, even when other bidders were less expensive and more qualified, the report said.

Read more:

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/state/20130401_New_Pa__Turnpike_head_says_he_s_ready_to_face_down_corruption.html