Crime

Grand jury presents drug ring findings, identifies bar as a delivery spot

AP

The 39th Statewide Investigating Grand Jury released its presentment into its findings on two drug rings taken down in Centre County following arrests on Nov. 10 and Nov. 16.

The CDT previously reported on the two organizations accused of distributing heroin and cocaine in the county and surrounding area on Nov. 18. According to the Centre County District Attorney’s Office, the drug rings — the Azim Robinson Drug Organization and the Calliste/Powell Drug Organization — brought more than $350,000 in cocaine and heroin to Centre County from Philadelphia.

Wilber Calliste and Joshua Powell — also known as Bosh and Josh — were identified as conspirators who sold heroin, cocaine and marijuana in the Bellefonte area, the presentment said. They also made drug deliveries in State College.

A witness testified to buying heroin from Castille, of Reading, more than 20 times in Bellefonte in 2014, the report said, and again from May to July 2016. The witness was also introduced to Powell, of Yonkers, N.Y., through Calliste.

The witness testified to buying heroin from Powell more than 20 times, the presentment said, typically delivered by Powell to the witness in State College. Powell also sold cocaine.

Both appeared to be selling the same heroin, the report said. The transactions were arranged by telephone.

The Grand Jury heard evidence from five controlled buys of heroin and/or cocaine from Calliste by law enforcement, the presentment said. Confidential informants purchased cocaine, crack and heroin from Calliste in Bellefonte in April and July.

A narcotics agent purchased heroin and cocaine from Calliste in Bellefonte in July, the report said.

Powell and Calliste stayed off and on at a residence in Bellefonte until Aug. 4 when Powell was arrested in Centre County on burglary charges, the presentment said. Both cooked and packaged cocaine at the residence.

One of the locations they delivered drugs was at Inferno, a bar/restaurant in State college, the report said.

The Grand Jury also heard evidence of an organization headed by Azim “Z” Robinson, of Philadelphia, the presentment said. Robinson sold drugs in Centre County from 2009-2010, and returned in 2014 to resume distribution of heroin, cocaine, cocaine base, oxycontin and other drugs.

Witnesses testified to many hand-to-hand transactions with Robinson, the report said, and testimony showed Robinson attempted to insulate himself from the actual distribution of the drugs since his return. He would arrange transactions over the phone, then have associates from the Philadelphia area make deliveries for him.

Robinson was arrested by State College police on Nov. 10 after an alleged drug transaction.

Witnesses also identified the following people in the presentment as working with Robinson to deliver drugs at his direction — Isaiah Tilghman, Syeem Byrd-Youngblood, Amir Robinson, Nyeem Copes and Eugene Batchler. Copes and Batchler were arrested in Centre County this month. Tilghman, Byrd-Youngblood and Robinson were all arrested in Centre County between December 2015 and February.

Witnesses testified to meeting Robinson as far back as 10 years ago, the report said, saying he was first brought into the area by heroin user and distributor Rob Carlin. He would stay at houses and hotels and was assisted by his father, Leonard Robinson, until his supply was exhausted. He then returned to Philadelphia for a new supply.

Robinson reconnected with Carlin in late 2014, the presentment said, and often used others to make deliveries for him. Witnesses testified to receiving drugs from four to seven different drug associates of Robinson’s.

Witnesses also testified to driving to the Philadelphia area to meet Robinson for drugs, the presentment said, as well as buying heroin, cocaine and oxycontin from Robinson in Bellefonte through Carlin.

Jeremy Hartley: 814-231-4616, @JJHartleyNews

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