Several family members accused of running a cocaine ring in Clearfield, Centre and Blair counties were scheduled for preliminary hearings Wednesday in Clearfield County.
Todd Anderson, 46, of Madera; his wife, Catherine Anderson, 34; his brother-in-law, Robert Gavlak, 27, of Houtzdale; his mother-in-law, Pamela Gavlak, 51, of Houtzdale, and his uncle, Leroy Philip Bryant, 57, of Osceola Mills, are all facing felony drug charges filed in August by the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office.
During centralized court Wednesday at the Clearfield County Jail, Pamela Gavlak, Robert Gavlak and Bryant all waived their rights to preliminary hearings. The case against Catherine Anderson was continued until Oct. 4, and Todd Anderson had his hearing, with all his charges being held to court, according to online court documents.
All of these co-defendants are incarcerated with bail set at $250,000 in each case, with the exception of Todd Anderson, who was identified as the ring leader. His bail is $1,000,000.
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According to the findings of a grand jury, Todd Anderson obtained two ounces of cocaine two or three times per month from a contact in Beaver Falls, starting in 2014. Numerous controlled purchases of cocaine were arranged by a confidential informant. This informant was allegedly able to buy the drug from Todd Anderson, Robert Gavlak and Catherine Anderson. These controlled purchases began in July 2016 and ended in March. Purchases were also made from Bryant in Philipsburg, according to court documents.
A search warrant was executed on the Houtzdale residence on March 20. Investigators found 28 grams of cocaine; $2,773 in cash and checks, which included money used by the informant to buy cocaine; an “owe sheet”; several cellphones; and drug paraphernalia, according to information given to the grand jury.
Todd Anderson reportedly purchased his Madera home with $28,000 in cash. Bryant’s apartment in Philipsburg was also the subject of a search warrant in June, when agents found 46 grams of cocaine, a scale and baggies. He told them his source of cocaine was Todd Anderson, police said.
Catherine Anderson told investigators that Todd Anderson would make two to three trips per month to pick up cocaine, according to grand jury testimony.
Robert Gavlak told the grand jury Todd Anderson was selling cocaine multiple times per day for the past two years. He said he witnessed Todd Anderson weighing the cocaine, cutting it and putting it in baggies for sale. He also said his mother knew of the drug activity, but when Pamela Gavlak testified, she said she knew nothing about drugs in her home.
“This drug ring was selling more than $10,000 of cocaine a month — pumping their poison into Clearfield and surrounding communities,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro said in a press release.
Shapiro also praised the cooperation of the various investigating police departments.
“Thanks to the collaborative efforts of the Clearfield County District Attorney’s Office, Clearfield Drug Task Force, Decatur Township Police, Lawrence Township Police, Pennsylvania State Police and the 40th Statewide Investigating Grand Jury, this cocaine ring is out of business,” he said in the statement.