Police seize drugs, guns from home
Authorities in Coatesville are searching for the alleged suspect
COATESVILLE >> Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan announced Friday charges against a wanted and at-large suspect Ronald Terry Smith for the “unholy trinity of guns, drugs and money.”
The DA’s office said Coatesville police discovered large quantities of drugs, five firearms and money in Smith’s “heavily fortified residence” when executing a search warrant. According to the police report, the drugs reportedly included heroin, cocaine and crystal methamphetamine. The firearms reportedly included guns with a 30-round magazine, an extended barrel and an obliterated serial number, according to the report.
The DA’s office and police are seeking the public’s help in finding Smith, 41, of Coatesville.
“This defendant was poisoning the Coatesville community and was a threat to law enforcement,” Hogan said. “The streets in Coatesville will be a little safer when we get him into custody.”
Police said based on the alleged drug activity out of Smith’s residence in the 400 block of Valley Road in Coatesville, the police obtained a search warrant for the residence that they executed on Nov. 11.
According to the DA’s office, the allegations of the criminal report are:
The police said they discovered that Smith’s residence was heavily fortified and contained sur-
veillance equipment reportedly consistent with drug dealing. The front door was reinforced with a steel security bar that they said “required substantial force so that entry could be gained.” There were surveillance cameras both outside and inside the residence, as well as a monitor showing live video feed from about seven cameras. While Smith was not home at the time of the search, police noted several of his personal belongings throughout the residence that indicated he does live there.
Police said they reportedly found large quantities of suspected cocaine, both powder and crack, heroin, crystal methamphetamine, prescription pills and marijuana inside the residence. The home included digital scales to weigh drugs, plastic baggies reportedly for packaging and a cutting agent to increase the weight of the drugs, according to the criminal report. There also was a safe for storing drugs and cash present in the house, according to the criminal report.
“The police found the unholy trinity of guns, drugs, and money in the defendant’s house,” Hogan said.
The police said they also located and seized numerous firearms found in the kitchen and two bedrooms, including: a long rifle with a scope, a revolver with an obliterated serial number, a .357 magnum revolver with an extended barrel, a Tec-9 semiautomatic firearm, and a Colt .380 caliber semiautomatic firearm with highcapacity magazines. The DA’s office said Smith is prohibited from possessing firearms under Pennsylvania law.
Smith, a fugitive, has been charged with alleged possession with intent to distribute drugs, firearms offenses and related charges.
According to police, Smith had pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute twice previously. Once in July 2001 in Chester County Court of Common Pleas and again in February 2008 in Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas.
“The defendant was running a full-service pharmacy for illegal drugs,” Hogan said. “He chose to protect his illicit activity in a fortified bunker and with prohibited firearms. However, persistent efforts and good teamwork by Chester County law enforcement shut down the defendant’s drug operation.”
Coatesville Police Chief John “Jack” Laufer also praised law enforcement officials for their “good investigative work and utilizing a joint team approach.” He said the city’s Vice Unit was able to “remove a sizable quantity of dangerous drugs and firearms from the streets of Coatesville.”
“The fight against violent crime most often associated with the illicit drug trade requires a team approach not only within law enforcement, but also with the community we serve,” Laufer said. “Together we can bring about positive change within the City of Coatesville.”
“The fight against violent crime most often associated with the illicit drug trade requires a team approach not only within law enforcement, but also with the community we serve.” — Coatesville Police Chief John “Jack” Laufer
This case was investigated by the Coatesville Police Department and its Vice Unit, with assistance from the Parkesburg Police Department, the Chester County Sheriff’s K-9 Unit and the Chester County District Attorney’s Office.
Police ask that anyone with information contact Coatesville Detective Jonathan Shave at 610-3842300. Information can also be provided anonymously on a recorded tip line at 610-380-1830 or by texting the keyword “Coatesville” and a message to 847411.
Visit Daily Local News staff writer Ginger Rae Dunbar’s blog about journalism and volunteering as a firefighter at FirefighterGinger.blogspot.com.
Ronald Terry Smith
Above and at right, Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan and Coatesville Police Chief John “Jack” Laufer announced Friday charges against at-large suspect Ronald Terry Smith after police said they allegedly discovered large quantities of drugs, five firearms and money in Smith’s residence when executing a search warrant.