Former State College store owner faces 44 drug-related counts

A 48-year-old Frackville man and owner of Dragon Chasers Emporium, one of the downtown State College stores raided earlier this year for synthetic drugs, faces 44 drug-related counts, according to court documents.

State Police at Philipsburg said John Brett O’Keefe was charged Tuesday with corrupt organizations, dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities, possession with intent to deliver, possession of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy and others. He was charged following a state police investigation into the distribution of synthetic marijuana and other synthetic substances in Centre, Berks and Schuylkill counties.

O’Keefe also was found to be the owner of Nirvana’s Closet, in Schuylkill County. Following a February raid of the stores, Dragon Chasers Emporium, formerly of 115 S. Fraser St., closed.

Undercover troopers purchased controlled substances from the stores involved between August 2011 and February of this year, they said. The investigation resulted in search warrants on banks that held accounts for the various stores after police found the synthetic drugs were generating large amounts of money, according to a press release.

The State College store was depositing $6,000 to $10,000, police said, and a total of $916,982 was seized. An additional nearly $1.7 million was seized from banks in Berks and Schuylkill counties.

O’Keefe was arraigned Tuesday in Berks County, and bail was set at $200,000 unsecured. Police said he waived his right to a preliminary hearing at that time.