September 1, 2011
HARRISBURG -A $450,000 marijuana ring, which operated throughout Snyder and Northumberland counties, was broken-up today by agents from the Attorney General?s Bureau of Narcotics Investigation (BNI) along with Pennsylvania State Troopers and local police.
Attorney General Linda Kelly said the investigation, known as ?Operation Dead Drop? began in November 2010 and focused on the suspected marijuana trafficking activities of Michael Angstadt of Sunbury, Northumberland County.
Kelly said Angstadt and his associates are believed to have trafficked and sold at least $450,000 worth of marijuana over the past three years.
Evidence and testimony regarding the alleged drug sales was presented to a statewide investigating grand jury, which recommended the criminal charges being filed today.
According to the grand jury, between summer 2010 and February 2011 Angstadt received numerous parcels from Mexico/South Texas and California containing multiple pound amounts of marijuana.
The grand jury found that the parcels were delivered to addresses known of known drug associates and some were arranged to be delivered to addresses known as ?dead drop addresses.?
Kelly explained that dead drop addresses are addresses of individuals who would not have known a parcel was arriving. Angstadt allegedly tracked each package to determine when it was scheduled for delivery and then waited at that location for the Postal Service to arrive at the ?dead drop? address. Angstadt allegedly took custody of each package without the resident of the home ever knowing that it had been delivered.
Agents said that once Angstadt retrieved the delivered packages he allegedly took them to another location, sometimes to the residence of an associate, to repackage the marijuana for local distribution.
According to the grand jury, prior to obtaining his South Texas/Mexico marijuana connection, Angstadt made dozens of trips to Reading, Berks County and obtained large quantities of marijuana for redistribution in Snyder and Northumberland counties.
The grand jury found that Daniel Price traveled with Angstadt to the Reading area and typically received a quarter to half of the amount of marijuana that they brought back. Price then allegedly resold the marijuana to local individuals.
Agents believe that once Angstadt encountered difficulties with his Reading drug source he traveled to California to meet with a new supplier of marijuana.
According to the grand jury, as a result of this meeting, Angstadt was able to effectively have packages of marijuana sent through the mail to individuals or addresses in Snyder and Northumberland counties.
The grand jury found that Angstadt received an average of five to 10 pounds of marijuana per shipment, paying his sources approximately $400 per pound, and resold the drugs to local residents for up to $2,000 per pound.
Agents estimate that over the last three years Angstadt obtained and distributed nearly 300 pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value of $450,000.
Kelly thanked the Northumberland County District Attorney?s Office, the Snyder County District Attorney?s Office, the Pennsylvania State Police Troop F Vice Unit, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Sunbury Police Department, the Point Township Police Department, the Northumberland Police Department, the Shamokin Dam Police Department, the Selinsgrove Police Department, the Middleburg Police Department, the Snyder county Probation Office, and the Northumberland/Montour County Drug Task Force for their assistance with the investigation.
The case will be prosecuted in Snyder County by Senior Deputy Attorney General David Gorman of the Attorney General?s Drug Strike Force.
Below is a complete list of the defendants and the charges against them.
--Michael Angstadt, 39, currently incarcerated in the Montour County prison, is charged with three counts of possession with the intent to deliver marijuana, one count of criminal conspiracy and one count of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity.
--Daniel Price, 21, 317 Treva Road, Paxinos, Northumberland County, is charged with one count of criminal conspiracy.
--John Spino, 42, 208 Hatchery Road, Dalmatia, Northumberland County, is charged with one count of possession with the intent to deliver marijuana and one count of criminal conspiracy.
--Tadd Prowant, 21, 1314 Bowersox Road, Middleburg, Snyder County, is charged with one count of possession with the intent to deliver marijuana, one count of criminal attempt and one count of criminal conspiracy.
--Carmen Swigart, 52, 408 S. 10th St., Sunbury, Northumberland County, is charged with one count of possession with the intent to deliver marijuana and one count of criminal conspiracy.
--Robert Bunting, 44, 1104 Otto Station Road, Herndon, Northumberland County, is charged with one count of criminal conspiracy.
--Michael Krouse, 45, 12 White Block Studio, Selinsgrove, Snyder County, is charged with two counts of possession with the intent to deliver marijuana, two counts of delivery of marijuana and two counts of criminal use of a communication facility.
--Juvenile is charged with one count of possession with the intent to deliver marijuana and one count of criminal conspiracy.
(A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty.)