16 charged in methamphetamine operation at ‘The Farm’
ERIE — Federal authorities have broken up a suspected methamphetamine distribution rings that was operating out of “The Farm” in Warren County.
The indictments, unsealed on Thursday by U.S. Scott Brady, charge 16 individuals in connection with the operation.
“Our region has been fighting the opioid crisis since 2016-2017,” Brady said in press conference Thursday at the Troop E Pennsylvania State Police headquarters in Erie. “It literally has touched every family in our region.
“Now most of the meth we see in Western Pennsylvania is Mexican cartel meth,” he added. “(The) purity is different than what we used to see…. (It’s) pure, potent, abundant and it’s cheap.”
Brady said the investigation of the Grand Valley ring started in June 2018.
“The network was run by Carina Tucker and her boyfriend, Gail Flick,” he said, expoaining they would travel to Akron, Ohio, two to three times a week to pick up meth — usually around a half pound — and stop at a Titusville home — owned by Rusty Jay Bingman, 46924 Keyes Road — to repackage for distribution.
Carina Tucker, 31, 116 W. Walnut St., Titusville, has three pending criminal cases in Warren County –two for possession with intent to deliver and a third for attempting to furnish drug-free urine. Flick, 47, is identified as living at 150 Depot St., Garland.
“Once ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) discovered this ring,” Brady said, a larger investigation was launched, bringing in the Pennsylvania State Police at the Titusville Police Department. “We were able to uncover and discover just how extensive this network was. (It) operated out of a residence in Grand Valley.”
He said they referred to the place as “The Farm” and investigators say it was located at 530 Hunter School Road.
Brady said six to nine individuals were living at the farm and serving as the primary distributors for the meth that Tucker and Flick brought from Ohio. The distribution is alleged to have occurred in Warren, Crawford and Venango counties.
He cited evidence that cars were vandalized and people were threatened at gunpoint as part of the organization.
“This is not new,” he said. “(We) see this in drug trafficking organizations all the time.”
He added that Kevin Huet, 31, 3427 Flat Road, Grand Valley was the enforcer for the network.
“The Farm” was raided back in September 2019 and Brady said 42 agents arrested nine of the 16 individuals on Wednesday, seizing firearms and an explosive device.
Joseph Price, resident agent in charge with ATF, said the investigation stated “mid to late summer 2018” and detailed that they were contacted by Titusville police after firearms with obliterated serial numbers were found on people connected to the network.
“It was a great, great collaborative effort through many agencies,” Cpt. Kirk Reese, Pennsylvania State Police said. “If you do see something, say something.”
The following individuals, in addition to Tucker, Flick, Bingman and Huet, also face charges in connection with the operation: Anthony James Stufflebeam, SCI Albion; Charles John Vanderhoff, Akron, Oh.; Stephanie Ann Bryan, N. Main St., Butler; Sarah Bloom, SCI Muncy; Scott Christopher Schreckengost, 42, Spartansburg; Kimberly Ann Gesin, Titusville; Cody Tobias Greeley, Tidioute; Tedra Mae McGarvie, address unknown; Trevor Allen McGarvie, SCI Mercer; Nicholas James Barnes, address unknown, Brandi Marie Hanna, address unknown and Kevin John Frederick, Townville, Pa.
The maximum punishment for all of the defendants is the same — up to life in prison — with maximum fine amounts varying but not less than $10 million.
Agencies involved in the investigation included ATF, state police, Titusville Police Department, Warren County Drug Task Force, Warren County Sheriff’s Office and the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office.
“Our job remains the same… to keep you and your loved ones safe,” Brady said in a Thursday press conference at the Pennsylvania State Police Troop E Headquarters. “We will continue to fight and dismantle drug organizations that seek to harm our communities and our loved ones.”