March 15, 2017

Cops: Brothers' heroin ring blamed for 'widespread' addiction in Quakertown

Organization allegedly netted $1 million annually in drug sales in Bucks County

Bucks County officials say they have dismantled a heroin-trafficking organization that brought in nearly $1 million annually at its peak, leading to "widespread addiction" and numerous overdoses in the Quakertown area.

The organization allegedly was run by two brothers who lived at their parent's remote, wooded home in Richland Township, according to charging documents.

Sheamus Patrick McCarthy, 27, and Casey James McCarthy, 22, both of Quakertown, are among 13 people charged with running or participating in a corrupt organization. The defendants also face a litany of drug-related felonies and misdemeanors.

Thomas James McCarthy, 25, of Quakertown, also is charged with selling heroin as a upper-level employee of his two brothers, but operated an independent drug-dealing operation in upper Bucks County and Allentown, Lehigh County, according to authorities.

The McCarthy brothers' alleged drug ring sold between 200 and 400 bundles of heroin per week, investigators said. Each bundle contained 10 to 14 individual bags.

Provide/Bucks County District Attorney's Office

Sheamus and Casey McCarthy are charged with running a heroin-trafficking organization that generated $1 million annually, at its most profitable.

"This ring was booming," Bucks County District Attorney Matthew D. Weintraub said. "It is alleged that the people at the top of the pyramid made upwards of $1 million a year in selling their heroin to the people of Bucks County."

Heroin sold by the McCarthy ring is connected to at least five overdoses — two of which proved fatal, Weintraub said.

"Daniel Killion did not survive his bout with heroin, nor did Sean Brzyski," Weintraub said. "They both ingested heroin that could be loosely traced to this heroin organization and they died. In addition, we have three other people who ingested heroin ... and they were fortunate enough to survive."

The McCarthy organization initially sold heroin branded as "Bueno," before switching the name to "MIAMI" and later "PROTOCOL," "PANELA" and "FRESH."

"Branding is very important in any heroin organization," Weintraub said. "If you can cultivate brand loyalty, you have a customer for life — no matter how long or short that life might be."

Police have 11 of the 13 defendants in custody. The ring's alleged supplier, Antoine Hakim Harris, and Ryan Ernest Mokrynchuk, an alleged dealer, remain on the loose, authorities said. 

The McCarthy ring primarily sold heroin obtained from Harris in West Philadelphia. The drugs then flowed through a multi-layered enterprise of drug transporters, dealers and users in Upper Bucks County, prosecutors allege.

The organization acted with such sophistication that it took two vehicles to pick up heroin from Harris, Weintraub said. One vehicle transported the heroin while the other served as a decoy. If police became suspicious, the decoy vehicle was ready to cause a traffic violation, prosecutors alleged.

The ring formed as early as 2013, police said, when the three McCarthy brothers allegedly began distributing heroin to people for personal use or resale. It grew to allegedly include several members, who operated various roles, until it withered last year under a police investigation.

The charges followed a nine-month grand jury investigation that the alleged heroin ring "led to widespread addiction amongst young citizens of the Quakertown area."

Prosecutors have built their case by corroborating testimonies obtained from drug dealers, Weintraub said. Law enforcement officials have not seized any drugs or money. 

"We didn't have the actual pot of gold, so to speak, and that will present an issue and a challenge at trial," Weintraub said. "But it's one we're prepared to meet."

Weintraub said investigators do not know where the McCarthy brothers might have stashed or spent their alleged earnings.

"I'd only be guessing," he said. "I don't want to guess."

Casey and Thomas McCarthy were arrested Monday at their family's home on Cherry Road. Sheamus McCarthy already was in custody on a prior charge.

The Cherry Road property also serves as the principal location of McCarthy Masonry, a business owned by the McCarthy brothers' father, James McCarthy. But Weintraub said there is no evidence suggesting that the business played any role in the drug ring.

Anyone with information about their whereabouts of Harris or Mokrynchuk is asked to call the Quakertown Police Department at 215-536-5002.