Po­lice seize drugs, guns from home

Au­thor­i­ties in Coatesville are search­ing for the al­leged sus­pect

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Gin­ger Rae Dun­bar gdun­bar@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @GingerDun­bar on Twit­ter

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

SUB­MIT­TED PHO­TOS

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.

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