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'Major' Meth Supplier Caught in Levittown

John Hodgson, 62, of Levittown is also accused of running a crystal meth ring with six other suspects in Bucks County.

A four-year undercover investigation has resulted in the indictments of 27 people suspected of links to a crystal methamphetamine trafficking operation that stretched from Mexico and Texas and took root in Bucks, Montgomery, Berks, Lehigh and Tioga counties.

Officials believe that the large network is responsible for the distribution of more than $3.5 million worth of crystal meth in southeastern and northern Pennsylvania, according to the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office.

Evidence obtained through undercover drug buys, wiretaps and other court-authorized surveillance was presented to a grand jury in 2011, which came back in September 2012 with multiple criminal charges for each suspect.

Eight of the suspects, including one characterized as a "major distributor," were from Levittown.

The operation seized more than four pounds of crystal meth, one partially dismantled cyrstal meth lab, approximately 100 firearms, $110,000 cash and 16 vehicles.

Officers arrested 25 of the 27 suspects Tuesday and brought them before Penndel Magisterial Judge Daniel Baranoski for preliminary arraignments. Two of the suspects remain at large, Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan confirmed at the press conference, with one arrest imminent and the other's whereabouts currently unknown.

All defendants will be prosecuted in Bucks County by Chief Deputy Attorney General Andrew Rongaus, who told reporters that Bucks County was chosen because 65 percent of the suspects are from there.

According to a release by the Attorney General's office, the investigation originally started when separate undercover drug buys traced back to Robert Snyder of Pottstown and Wesley White of Roaring Branch in Tioga County and showed similarities, prompting the formation of “Operation Blowout.”

Further investigation unraveled the complex network, revealing suspected suppliers and smaller drug rings that branched off.

The investigators say that one of White's major suppliers was John Hodgson, 62, of Levittown. He is also accused of running a smaller crystal meth ring with six other suspects in Bucks County, including his brother, Joseph, 65, of Yardley, John McDonald, 61, who remains at large, Sherwood White, 63, of Levittown, Nancy Diaz, 53, of Levittown, Tina Erb, 51 of Bensalem and Elizabeth Naylon, 46, of Ivyland.

During the investigation, detectives say they discovered a broken down meth lab at a storage locker owned by Hodgson. Rongaus said that while there is no evidence that the four pounds of crystal meth confiscated by officers came from the meth lab, it was clear from the materials that drugs had been manufactured at that location.

Investigators tracked Hodgson's supply of meth to a Philadelphia man, Francis Gulich. In addition to providing ounce or pound quantities of drugs to Hodgson, Gulich allegedly worked with several other individuals to resell the drugs in Philadelphia and Bucks County, including Mark Kasper, Barbara Kasper, Philip Tomasella, Alexander Shepelenko, Joseph Bonger and James Simmer.

As the investigation continued, the report indicates, the ultimate source of the crystal meth distributed by Gulich and Hodgson was identified as Sim Bradley, of Philadelphia. Bradley is also accused of supplying meth to two other Bucks County men - Grady Dennis, of Willow Grove and Lee Wasser, of Perkasie.

According to the grand jury, Snyder was receiving bulk quantities of meth from sources in Mexico.  The drugs were allegedly moved across the U.S. border to McAllen, Texas, and then transported to a source in Reading, identified as Raul Cosme.

At a press conference Wednesday morning, Attorney General Linda Kelly thanked the detectives and officers from the multiple state and local agencies that participated in the investigation, called "Operation Blowout."

"This was a total team effort by all of the departments involved," said Kelly.

Kelly, Noonan and Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler acknowledged the work of officers from police departments in Philadelphia, Bristol, Doylestown, Muhlenberg, Pottstown, Oley, Athens, New Hanover, the Philadelphia division of the DEA and Delaware State Police.

A list of the defendants and the charges filed against them include:

Robert H. Snyder, 53, 136 South 8th St., Pottstown, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, 20 counts of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, unlawful use of a communications facility, unlawful possession of a firearm, dealing in unlawful proceeds and related offenses.

Wesley B. White, 53, 972 Route 14, Roaring Branch, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, 20 counts of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, unlawful use of a communications facility, dealing in unlawful proceeds and related offenses.

Raul Cosme, 38, 33895 Fox Glove Run, Milford, Delaware, is charged with is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, 20 counts of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, unlawful use of a communications facility, dealing in unlawful proceeds and related offenses.

Sherwood W. White, 63, 2408 East Ave., Levittown, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, two counts of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, unlawful use of a communications facility, dealing in unlawful proceeds and related offenses.

John S. Hodgson, 62, 2408 East Ave., Levittown, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, 20 counts of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, unlawful use of a communications facility, dealing in unlawful proceeds and related offenses.

Francis Gulich, 62, 1939 Grant Ave., Philadelphia, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, 20 counts of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, unlawful use of a communications facility, dealing in unlawful proceeds and related offenses.

Sim Bradley, 72, 7433 Walnut Lane, Philadelphia, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, 20 counts of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, unlawful use of a communications facility, dealing in unlawful proceeds and related offenses.

Marlene A. Albrecht, 46, 508 Keystone Drive, Dublin, Bristol, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, 6 counts of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, unlawful use of a communications facility, dealing in unlawful proceeds and related offenses.

Joseph C. Bogner, 47, 1045 Bath Road, Bristol, is charged with one count of possession of a controlled substance, unlawful use of a communications facility and related offenses.

Dean Bowers, 46, 4605 Landisville Road, Doylestown, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, 16 counts of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, unlawful use of a communications facility, dealing in unlawful proceeds and related offenses.

Grady L. Dennis Jr., 46, 8633 Michener Ave., Philadelphia, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, 2 counts of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, unlawful use of a communications facility, dealing in unlawful proceeds and related offenses.

Nancy M. Diaz, 53, 16 Petunia Road, Levittown, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, 12 counts of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, unlawful use of a communications facility, dealing in unlawful proceeds and related offenses.

Joseph R. Hodgson, 65, 1034 Cultipacker Road, Yardley, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, criminal conspiracy, unlawful use of a communications facility, dealing in unlawful proceeds and related offenses.

Scott A. Hopkinson Sr., 42, 10 Horseshoe Lane, Levittown, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, 9 counts of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, unlawful use of a communications facility, dealing in unlawful proceeds and related offenses.

Barbara Kasper, 39, 169 Cobalt Ridge Drive South, Levittown, is charged with one count of possession of a controlled substance.

Mark W. Kasper, 39, 169 South Cobalt Ridge Road, Levittown, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, 2 counts of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, unlawful use of a communications facility, dealing in unlawful proceeds and related offenses.

John McDonald, 61, formerly of Morrisville, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, 2 counts of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, unlawful use of a communications facility, dealing in unlawful proceeds and related offenses.

Elizabeth J. Naylon, 46, 96 Eisenhard Drive, Ivyland, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, 13 counts of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, unlawful use of a communications facility, dealing in unlawful proceeds and related offenses.

Joseph M. Ragnoli, 44, 4237 Smith Road, Wycombe, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, 21 counts of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, unlawful use of a communications facility, dealing in unlawful proceeds and related offenses.

Judson R. Route, 52, 2013 Ogdensburg Road, Roaring Branch, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, 7 counts of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, unlawful use of a communications facility, dealing in unlawful proceeds and related offenses.

Alexander Schepelenko, 66, 50 Dieter Ave., Morrisville, is charged with one count of possession of a controlled substance, unlawful use of a communications facility and related offenses.

James Howard Simmers Sr., 34 Gamewood Road, Levittown, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, 2 counts of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, unlawful use of a communications facility, dealing in unlawful proceeds and related offenses.

John D. Taylor, 53, 27 Buttonwood Road, Churchville, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, 16 counts of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, unlawful use of a communications facility, dealing in unlawful proceeds and related offenses.

Jeffrey A. Terry, 53, 30 Ginger Lane, Alsace Township, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, 11 counts of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, unlawful use of a communications facility, dealing in unlawful proceeds and related offenses.

Philip M. Tomasella, 40, 11 Echo Lane, Levittown, is charged with one count of possession of a controlled substance, unlawful use of a communications facility and related offenses.

Tina Marie Wagner-Erb, 51, 6279 Hulmeville Road, Bensalem, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, 8 counts of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, unlawful use of a communications facility, dealing in unlawful proceeds and related offenses.

Lee Scott Wasser, 47, 205 Goldenrod Court, Perkasie, is charged with two counts of participating in a corrupt organization, 2 counts of delivery of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, unlawful use of a communications facility, dealing in unlawful proceeds and related offenses.

The foregoing arrest information was supplied by the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General. It does not indicate a conviction.

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