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An rpper Gwynedd man has admitted to his role in a methamphetamine traffiFNLQJ RUJDQL]DWLRQ WhDW allegedly operated in Montgomery and Philadelphia counties.
Francesco “Frank” Messina, 43, of the 600 block RI GDUfiHOG AvHQuH, SOHDGHG guilty in Montgomery County Court Monday to charges RI FRUUuSW RUJDQL]DWLRQV, possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine and conspiracy in connection with incidents that occurred between December 2011 and March 2012.
6SHFLfiFDOOy, 0HVVLQD DGmitted to directly delivering more than two grams of meth to an undercover detective on two occasions — for which he potentially faces two one-year mandatory sentences — and to being involved in the delivery, conducted by some of his alleged co-defendants, of anRWhHU fivH JUDPV RI WhH GUuJ — for which he potentially faces a three-year mandatory sentence.
Judge Thomas G. Gavin, a visiting senior judge from Chester County, deferred sentencing so that court offiFLDOV FDQ FRPSOHWH D EDFNground investigative report about Messina, who at the time of his arrest resided in the T00 block of Schwab 5RDG LQ HDWfiHOG. 0HVVLQD, who at the time of his arrest worked at a Lansdale area auto-body shop, remains free on bail pending sentencing.
Assistant District Attorney Jason Whalley vowed to seek mandatory state prison sentences against Messina.
“What he has admitted to is his role in the methamphetamine distribution ring that was taken down over the winter of this past year,” Whalley said. “ee was one of our main targets.”
Messina was one of 32 people, many of whom lived LQ HDWfiHOG, 6FhwHQNVvLOOH, Lansdale, Gilbertsville, Phoenixville, Royersford, Lower Providence, Limerick, North Wales, Blue Bell and Philadelphia, who were charged in connection with their alleged roles in the operation as distributors, users or pushers of the expensive drug.
“7hLV FDVH wDV fiOOHG wLOO dealers and users, so people who were dealing it were also using it and considering this type of drug, that can be a dangerous combination,” Whalley alleged.
Defense lawyer Sean Cullen indicated he will argue that any mandatory prison terms against Messina be imposed concurrently as opposed to consecutively.
“ee was always willing to accept responsibility for what he had done and I think it’s an opportunity for him to start to put these things behind him,” Cullen said.
Cullen maintained Messina should not be characterL]HG DV D PDMRU GUuJ GHDOHU.
“I think he was a victim of his own addiction,” Cullen said. “At some point the addiction takes over, you lose the ability to fund your own addiction and then it becomes a matter of selling or trading in order to cover your own habit.”
“There were no extravagant lifestyles here,” Cullen added. “It was all one course of conduct. We’re going to ask the judge for concurrent sentences.”
At the time of the arrests in May, county District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said the investigation of the RUJDQL]DWLRQ EHJDQ DIWHU VhH received an anonymous tip in the mail. Ferman turned the letter over to the county’s Narcotics Enforcement Team, which launched an investigation.