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June 25, 2019

Drug dealers shipped stuffed animals with opioids inside to Montgomery County, police say

Investigations Opioids
Amin Green Drug Defendants 06252019 Source/Montgomery County District Attorney's Office

Montgomery County authorities have charged 16 people in an alleged multi-state drug trafficking ring, arresting the 13 defendants pictured here. They include four ringleaders, left side, clockwise from top: Amir Green, Willie Wright, Scott and Kadesa Wright. Nine other defendants are charged, right side, left to right from top row: Julie Arthin, Farid Brown, Sheena Byrd, Michael Gaffney, Theodore Gaines, Dustin Gilmour, Anthony Pollitt, Juanna Taylor and Robert Thorn.

Sixteen members of an alleged drug trafficking ring have been charged with crimes in connection with the shipment of opioids, concealed in stuffed animals, from California to Montgomery County, prosecutors announced on Tuesday. 

Beginning in February, multiple law enforcement agencies participated in the dismantling of the organization allegedly led by 29-year-old Amir Green, of Ardmore. 

Authorities said Green headed the group alongside girlfriend Kadesa Wright, 24, of Philadelphia; his brother Cory Scott, 19, of Ardmore; and Willie Webster, 29, of Los Angeles. 

Investigators determined that the organization acquired large quantities of oxycodone pills, which Webster allegedly shipped to various apartments in Montgomery County via the United States Postal Service. Green and his co-defendants allegedly rented the properties using fraudulent or stolen identities and fake documents, prosecutors said. 

The oxycodone pills allegedly were concealed inside stuffed teddy bears and bunny rabbits and then shipped in the mail, as were other drugs including marijuana, fentanyl and THC vape cartridges. 

The investigation was led by the Upper Merion Police Department, which received information from federal authorities that Green and others were possibly using a King of Prussia apartment complex for drug trafficking. Further investigation revealed the group allegedly rented luxury apartments at locations in Norristown, Chadds Ford and Exton as well, also using fake identities. 

Detectives used surveillance, cell phone analysis, interviews and other techniques to uncover the organization's alleged activities. 

Authorities seized 432 Oxycodone pills and opioid derivatives, approximately 1,300 grams of marijuana, 152 THC vape cartridges, fentanyl, cocaine and nine illegal firearms. 

The following individuals also were charged as a result of the investigation: 

Julie Arthin, 22, of Newtown Square
Sheena Byrd, 36, of Wayne
Dustin Gilmour, 31, of Wayne
Juanna Taylor, 29, of King of Prussia
Anthony Pollitt, 49, of Bryn Mawr
Farid Brown, 26, of Philadelphia
Theodore Gaines, 32, of Philadelphia
Michael Gaffney, 31, of Philadelphia
Robert Thorn, 30, of Philadelphia

Warrants have been issued for the following individuals, who remain at large: 

Promise Hardnett, 43, of Philadelphia
Jamil King, 33, of Philadelphia
Tylil Lilly, 22, of Philadelphia

Preliminary hearings for all defendants arrested are scheduled for July 10. 

"This corrupt organization headed by Green was responsible for putting thousands of Oxycodone pills — opioids — onto the streets of Montgomery County since 2018, thereby fueling the opioid-heroin-fentanyl experience we are experiencing," District Attorney Kevin Steele said. "All of this poison is killing residents of Montgomery County and other communities in the region. Those that traffic this poison need to realize it's not worth it because we are going to keep investigating, arresting and holding accountable those responsible."