March 08, 2016

Suspected leader of Pottstown's 'Straight Cash Money Gang' facing federal charges

Courts Gangs
Jose Charriez Montgomery County District Attorney's Office /for PhillyVoice

Jose 'Jun' Charriez, 35, has been arrested and charged federally for his suspected role in running a violent gang in Pottstown.

A suspected leader of a violent drug trafficking gang in Pottstown that went by the name "Straight Cash Money Gang" now faces federal charges. 

Jose "Jun" Charriez, 35, of Pottstown – who was arrested as a result of "Operation War Ready," an investigation into two rival Pottstown gangs – will face federal charges of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and possession of a firearm as a convicted felon, Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele announced Tuesday in a statement. 

His trial is expected to begin Friday in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia. 

According to Steele, due to Charriez's criminal history and prior convictions, he is facing life in prison as well as a $2.5 million fine if he is convicted. 

Charriez was one of 47 people arrested in Pottstown last May through "Operation War Ready," a joint investigation handled by the FBI, the Montgomery County Detective Bureau and the Pottstown Police Department, Steele said.  

"The fact that Charriez is now facing federal charges shows that our federal counterparts recognize his significant role as one of the leaders of the 'Straight Cash Money Gang,'" said Steele. "This is a very violent group who engaged in trafficking drugs and firearms and clashed with a rival gang, doing damage to the community in Pottstown." 

The Charriez indictment notes that, on or about March 18, 2015, he was allegedly found in possession of cocaine and a loaded .45-caliber handgun while in a home in Pottstown. 

Last month, as reported by The Pottstown Mercury, Markel “Pudge” Harper, 22, of Philadelphia, allegedly admitted his role as a member of the "Brothas From Anotha Gang," the rival gang to the "Straight Cash Money Gang." Harper has been charged with attempted murder and a litany of related offenses. 

He, too, was arrested as part of the "Operation War Ready" investigation.