.

Major Lehigh Valley Meth Ring Busted, AG Says

A million-dollar meth ring operating in the Lehigh Valley has been busted, according to Pennsylvania's attorney general.

UPDATED: 7:30 PM

HARRISBURG - Agents from the Attorney General's Bureau of Narcotics Investigation along with local police officers are in the process of arresting six suspected drug dealers allegedly linked to a million-dollar crystal methamphetamine ring that operated in the Lehigh Valley.

Attorney General Linda Kelly said Wednesday that the six men were identified as the main distributors in a crystal methamphetamine ring that operated in and around Lehigh and Northampton counties: Anthony "Skinny" Serratore, Johnny "Amigo" Constanza, Edward "Eddie" Pope Jr., Michael Corby, Robert Thornton Jr. and William Lavenburg.

Evidence and testimony regarding the alleged criminal activity was presented to a statewide investigating grand jury, which recommended the charges being filed today.

Information about this drug organization was developed using undercover drug purchases, controlled buys and search warrants.

Agents estimate that the organization was capable of distributing as much as a pound of crystal methamphetamine a week with an estimated street value of $90,000.

At an arraignment before District Judge Joseph Barner, Deputy Attorney General Michael Dugan identified Constanza and Thornton as "major supplier(s)" of methamphetamine within the group, bringing in pounds of the drug at a time.

Dugan, who works in the Attorney General's Drug Strike Force Section, will be prosecutiting the case in Northampton County.

According to the grand jury, Lavenburg, Corby and Pope were Serratore's main crystal methamphetamine customers. Corby was identified as Serratore's largest customer and allegedly bought crystal methamphetamine from Serratore on a weekly basis, buying seven to 10 ounces at a time.

Agents believe that Corby, Pope and Lavenburg were not only using the crystal methamphetamine they purchased for personal use, but also redistributing the drugs to other lower-level dealers in the Lehigh Valley.

Kelly said that locating the source of the crystal methamphetamine, as well as street-level users that these individuals were selling to is part of a continuing investigation and additional arrests are anticipated.

Over the course of the investigation, agents seized about a half-pound of crystal methamphetamine, $26,000 in cash and 12 firearms.

Kelly thanked the Colonial Regional Police Department, the Bethlehem Township Police Department, the Bushkill Township Police Department and the Allentown Police Department for their assistance with the investigation.

Below is a complete list of the defendants and the charges against them:

  • Anthony "Skinny" Serratore, 35, 1801 Chester Road, Bethlehem, is charged with one count of possession with the intent to deliver methamphetamine, one count of criminal conspiracy to possess with the intent to deliver methamphetamine, one count of corrupt organizations, one count of delivery of methamphetamine, one count of criminal use of a communication facility, and one count of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities. Bail was set at $100,000.
  • Johnny "Amigo" Constanza, 48, 309 S. 16th St., Allentown, is charged with one count of possession with the intent to deliver methamphetamine, one count of criminal conspiracy to possess with the intent to deliver methamphetamine, one count of corrupt organizations, one count of criminal use of a communications facility, one count of criminal attempt sale of a non-controlled substance, and one count of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities. Bail was set at $200,000. As a condition of bail, he will also be required to give up his passport, as he is known to make frequent trips to the Dominican Republic.
  • Edward "Eddie" Pope Jr., 34, 1418 Northampton St., Apt. 2, Easton, is charged with two counts of possession with the intent to deliver methamphetamine, one count of criminal conspiracy to possess with the intent to deliver methamphetamine, one count of corrupt organizations, one count of criminal use of a communications facility, one count of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities, and one count of criminal conspiracy to possess with the intent to deliver methamphetamine. Bail was set at $175,000.
  • Michael Corby, 43, 1460 A Church Road, Plainfield Townsip, is charged with one count of possession with the intent to deliver methamphetamine, one count of criminal conspiracy to possess with the intetnt to deliver methamphetamine, one count of corrupt organizations, one count of criminal use of a communication facility, and one count of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities. Bail was set at $200,000.
  • Robert Thornton Jr., 28, 625 E. Fifth St., Bethlehem, is charged with two counts of possession with the intent to deliver methamphetamine, one count of criminal conspiracy to possess with the intent to deliver methamphetamine, one count of corrupt organizations, one count of criminal use of a communication facility, one count of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities, and one count of criminal conspiracy to possess with the intent to deliver methamphetamine. Bail was set at $250,000.
  • William Lavenburg, 35, 180 B Hoffman Road, Bushkill Township, is charged with one count of possession with the intent to deliver methamphetamine, one count of criminal conspiracy to possess with the intent to deliver methamphetamine, one count of corrupt organizations, one count of criminal use of a communications facility, one count of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities, and one count of damaging agricultural crop. Bail was set at $100,000.

(A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty.)

Anonymous October 25, 2012 at 11:20 AM
THankyou all very much. You are heros. You have saved lives. A job well done. Keep it up. I hope that our justice system puts them away for a long time. It is sad that so many are so willing to buy the drugs. If people would just stop buying it.....
freedomwiththeirexceptions?WTF October 26, 2012 at 08:52 AM
2 Comments Upload Photos and Videos Garrett Dudeck broke down only once as the judge considered his sentence. Dudeck, who was Southern Lehigh's Industrial Technology teacher until 2011, was arrested last March during an undercover sting for selling methamphetamines. He was unable to answer U.S. District Judge Paul Diamond when asked about his students. , Dudeck -- who ended up being sentenced to one year and one day in jail -- took full responsibility for his actions. Defense attorney Patrick Reilly, painted a picture for the court of Dudeck as a man on a path of bad choices, not a hardened criminal. "He wasn't on the [Drug sought treatment for his depression and drug and alcohol addiction. the judge agreed that while Dudeck is an atypical defendant, he is still an example for children and that his crime was serious. "The young people know [that Dudeck sold methamphetamines]. The judge did agree that Dudeck qualified for safety valve relief sentencing, allowing him to be sentenced to under the mandatory minimum, for selling methamphetamines is five years. Dudeck was sentenced to a year plus one day in a minimum security facility, plus three years of probation and a $3,500 fine. He is to report to the Lehigh County Correctional Facility no later than noon on June 25.
freedomwiththeirexceptions?WTF October 26, 2012 at 08:56 AM
please read my above post , seems as long as you are a good respectable school teacher you are aloud to manufacture and distribute methamphetamines. where is the justice , i guess depends on your clout .
Gramma24 October 26, 2012 at 05:33 PM
I agree with you. My children, when enrolled in Southern Lehigh, would not have crossed paths with any of those arrested. We did not live adjacent to them, they did not run in the same social circles, we did not frequent the same places of business. Gary Dudek on the other hand, they could not have avoided if they wanted to as his tech class was a requirement.....They HAD to interact with him......He is the more dangerous of the lot to me, as he had an 'air' of respectability and it was 'assumed' he was a fit person to be around chldren.
sherry October 27, 2012 at 02:41 PM
kudos to all who were involved in the arrest of these men.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »