Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman and Montgomery Township Police Chief Scott Bendig announce the joint investigation into a homicide, which occurred at 806 Karens Court in Montgomery Township.
On Thursday, April, 30, 2015 at 6:47 PM, the Montgomery Township Police Department responded to the 806 Karens Court for a reported disturbance with shots fired. Arriving officers located a gunshot victim, identified as Brienne Francisco, age 36, at the entrance of the residence. The victim was transported by MEDIVAC to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center where she was pronounced dead.
The Montgomery County SWAT Central Region Team was deployed due to the potential of a barricaded person inside the residence. Upon entry into the residence, officer’s located a deceased male, age 56, on the first floor. Preliminary investigation has revealed that the male appeared to have sustained a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. A revolver was located next to his body. The identity of the male is being withheld pending family notification.
Investigation has revealed that both Brienne Francisco and the deceased male resided at 806 Karens Court. Autopsies are pending at the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office and Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office.
Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman, Pottstown Borough Police Chief F. Richard Drumheller and Montgomery County Sheriff Russell Bono announce a warrant sweep leading to numerous arrests.
On April 23, 2015, Pottstown Police spearheaded a warrant sweep in the Pottstown area. The following agencies also participated in the sweep: Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department, Montgomery County Detectives Bureau, Pennsylvania State Parole, Montgomery County Adult Probation and Pottstown Borough Code Enforcement.
Twenty people were arrested during the sweep. The sweep also led to a search warrant, which law enforcement served at 25 North Franklin Street, Apartment 309. The search revealed crack cocaine, marijuana, cash, and two firearms. The guns that were located were a .22 caliber Intratech handgun and a sawed-off 12 gauge shotgun. Ammunition for both guns was also located during the search.
Additional marijuana, paraphernalia, and cash were seized during the arrests.
The following people (20) are charged with offenses:
Darryl Branch Jr. – Felony Drug Charges
Aurice Andrews – Felony Drug Charges
Devon Vogelsang – Felony Drug Charges
Christopher Saunders – Felony Drug Charges
Barry Moore – Felony Drug Charges
Ryan Hildebrand – Felony Drug Charges
Darryl Sutton – Robbery / Montgomery County Probation Detainer
Bryson Bridges – Robbery
Stacey Bowers – Chester County Bench Warrant
Daniel Ledford – Berks County Bench Warrant
Ebony Womack – Philadelphia Bench Warrant
Spencer Kinyanjui – DUI Warrant / Montgomery County Bench Warrant
Dustin Duval – Drug Charges / Montgomery County Probation Detainer
James Lewis – Montgomery County Bench Warrant
Brandon Wade – Montgomery County Bench Warrant
David McCorkle – Drug Charges / Montgomery County Bench Warrant
Damien Cody – Montgomery County Bench Warrant
JUVENILE – Robbery
Jared Santos – Montgomery County Bench Warrant
Lushan Goodlett – Felony Drug Charges
Pottstown PD and other law enforcement agencies are currently looking for twelve additional people for felony warrants for drug trafficking. These warrants are the result of a several month-long investigation into street level drug sales in the Pottstown area. The following people are wanted by the Pottstown Police. Anyone with information on their whereabouts is asked to contact Pottstown Police at 610-970-6570.
Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman and Pottstown Borough Police Chief F. Richard Drumheller announce the arrest of Richard Collins and Mariah Walton for first degree murder, conspiracy, and related offenses. These arrests are the result of a joint investigation into a homicide, which occurred in the area of Washington and Beech Streets, Pottstown Borough.
On Friday, March 20, 2015 at 11:27 AM, the Pottstown Borough Police Department responded to Washington and Beech Streets for an unresponsive person. The victim, Artie Bradley, age 38, of Pottstown was pronounced dead at the scene. On Saturday, March 21, 2015, an autopsy was performed on the body of Artie Bradley at the Montgomery County Morgue. The autopsy revealed that Bradley died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds. The manner of death was ruled homicide.
The Pottstown Borough Police Department and the Montgomery County Detective Bureau conducted a lengthy investigation, incorporating witness accounts, video surveillance, and various other technological tools they were able to piece together the murder of Artie Bradley. The investigation uncovered an existing relationship between Bradley, Collins and Walton. In the months leading up to Bradley’s murder, Collins and Bradley had a falling out over money.
The soured relationship between Collins, Walton, and Bradley culminated on March 20, 2015 when Collins and Walton were called to assist in an altercation against Bradley’s paramour. This altercation provided Collins and Walton the opportunity to facilitate a confrontation between Collins and Bradley, resulting in Collins fatally shooting the victim, Bradley.
The defendants will be arraigned at Magisterial District Judge Scott Palladino’s Court, which is located at 1 Security Plaza, Suite 101 in Pottstown at 12:30 today.
The cases will be prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Samantha Cauffman.
Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman and Pottstown Borough Police Chief F. Richard Drumheller announce the joint investigation into a homicide, which occurred outside of residences near Washington and Beech Streets, Pottstown Borough.
On Friday, March 20, 2015 at 11:27 AM, the Pottstown Borough Police Department responded to Washington and Beech Streets for an unresponsive person. The victim, Artie Bradley, age 38 of Pottstown was pronounced dead at the scene.
On Saturday, March 21, 2015 an autopsy was performed on the body of Artie Bradley at the Montgomery County Morgue. The autopsy revealed that Bradley died as a result of multiple gunshots. The manner of death was ruled homicide.
The Pottstown Borough Police Department and the Montgomery County Detective Bureau are investigating this homicide. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Pottstown Police Department at 610 970-6570 or Montgomery County Detective Bureau 610 278-3368
Pottstown, PA – Ask law enforcement dealing with violent crime in Pottstown about the biggest obstacle to catching criminals and they are likely to say it’s silence.
Or, more specifically, silence when police ask witnesses to provide information about a crime.
Repeatedly in recent months, as police have been grappling with a wave of violence, Pottstown Police Chief Rick Drumheller has pleaded with people to come forward and say what they know.
“It’s time to pick a side,” Drumheller said during a Dec. 3, 2014 council meeting.
NORRISTOWN, PA – Two phone calls months apart from each other allowed investigators to link together two drug rings that delivered crystal meth and heroin to the streets of Norristown and other parts in southeastern Pennsylvania.
District Attorney Risa Ferman announced Wednesday the arrest of 32 people, including four major alleged drug pushers, in Norristown in a joint operation appropriately dubbed “Operation Snow and Ice Removal.”
“This is a series of drug trafficking arrests that have been made in two overlapping drug trafficking rings that relate to the sale of crystal meth, heroin and cocaine, primarily in Norristown but with tentacles in southeast Pennsylvania,” Ferman said at a press conference.
The special prosecutor and grand jury investigating allegations that Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane leaked secret information to a newspaper have found evidence of wrongdoing and recommended that she be criminally charged, according to numerous people familiar with the decision.
The panel concluded that Kane violated grand-jury secrecy rules by leaking investigative material in a bid to embarrass political enemies, sources said.
Some of those familiar with the grand jury presentment say it recommended charges that included perjury and contempt of court.
The statewide grand jury sitting in Norristown has turned over its findings to Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman, who must decide whether to affirm its findings and arrest Kane, the state’s top law enforcement official.
The manhunt for Bradley W. Stone, the ex-Marine wanted in the killings of his ex-wife and five of her family members in Montgomery County, ended Tuesday with the discovery of his body in woods near his Pennsburg home, police said.
Stone is believed to have killed himself with a knife found near his body, county District Attorney Risa Ferman said at a 4:30 p.m. press conference.
Earlier, officials evidently were at a loss as to Stone’s whereabouts as District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman announced a multiagency effort involving local, state and federal law enforcement officers to find him.
But a grid search of the area surrounding his home eventually turned up his body in the woods, Ferman said.
Authorities are still searching for the gunman who left six people dead in three Montgomery County shootings this morning, but a SWAT team has stormed a Pennsburg home in search of the suspect.
The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office said police are looking for 35-year-old Bradley William Stone, of Pennsburg, in the killings. Three others were seriously wounded, officials said.
All of the victims have a “familial relationship” to Stone, prosecutors said. They were identified at a 6 p.m. press conference as Stone’s ex-wife, her sister and her sister’s husband, the sister’s teenage daughter, Stone’s former mother-in-law and a grandmother. A teenage son of the ex-wife’s sister was injured in the mayhem that occurred at two separate homes in two towns early this morning.
Montgomery County Court records show Stone had been entangled in divorce proceedings with his wife, Nicole A. Stone, since early 2009. The divorce was finalized in December 2012. Less than two weeks ago, he filed an emergency motion for custody.
Robert J. Kerns, the former Montgomery County Republican Chairman, pleaded no contest on Monday to a misdemeanor charge of indecent assault in Montgomery County Court.
It was a negotiated plea deal with the Attorney General’s office, and Kerns will serve two years probation and be a registered sex offender for 15 years.
Kerns was accused of having non-consensual sex with an employee of his Lansdale law firm while she was passed out after a night of drinking in October 2013.
More serious charges against him – rape and sexual assault – were dismissed in June by a lower court.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.